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Is it dangerous to eat mushrooms grown on books?


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#1 lipase

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 06:40 AM

There are a number of kits available over the internet that promote the idea of growing mushrooms on books and I've been wondering about how dangerous this is. According to mushroombox; bleached toilet roll contains dioxins which are harmful and accumulate in the body and after a quick search I found that chlorine bleaching of paper pulp creates dioxins as a by-product. On top of this I'm worrying about other chemicals in the books, the glues etc, and the inks used! Does anyone know about the quantities of harmful substances that are in books and how that would affect the edibility of mushrooms grown from them?

 

It's making me worry even about the chemicals in cardboard (which is presumably NOT bleached?). The reason I post this is because I can't find anything on the internet about the dangers of growing mushrooms from cardboard, paper, phonebooks, newspapers etc (aside from one advert I found). This could be a useful reference thread for people using these materials

 

Thanks



#2 TastyBeverage

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

Newspapers, magazines, books, anything printed on a press these days (at least in the US) uses soy based inks, so the ink at least is non toxic. That is industry standard in the US. Newspapers and phone books use unbleached paper, many now use post consumer recycled pulp. I  grow edible mushrooms on newspaper (Lazlo's shopping bag tech is one of my all time favorite techs) but i avoid the highly processed stuff like the glossy advertising inserts.

 

Mushrooms are actually really good at metabolizing all sorts of complex compounds. Pleurotus species (oyster) especially are REALLY good at this, and have been studied by Stamets and others for use in bioremediation cleanup of pollutants like petroleum spills etc. With this in mind, the general consensus of the mushroom community after several years of experimentation is that the shrooms will likely break down the toxins in the substrate and you'll be fine,especially since you'll be eating a pretty small amount anyways.


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#3 wildedibles

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:11 AM

The ink is non toxic soy but it is a gmo soy I bet???

 

I put newspaper in gardens here and there to keep the weeds down and some gardens have done poorly the last couple years and some have done just fine ......?????

 

My worry with books is that the older ones might not have soya ink ?????

 

vivid picture books might use a different kind of ink and paper too

 

photography chemicals on photos cant be very good for you they werent when I was in high school they only let us play with black and white cause the color chems are more toxic ?????

 

and paper all sorts of paper why not recycle the book and grow on something else ??? its nice to reuse and it is nice to use something destined for the landfill anyway but growing mushrooms on some of this stuff can pass toxins into the food part of the mushrooms just my opinion


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#4 TastyBeverage

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:21 AM

Well, if you're concerned about something.... don't use it. Pretty easy.  :cool:

 

Caveat: compared to the shit tons of dioxins, carcinogens and free radicals we are bombarded with every single day by living in the modern world, the amount you'd get through a few doses of boomers is infinitesimal.


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#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 07:48 AM

Does anyone know about the quantities of harmful substances that are in books and how that would affect the edibility of mushrooms grown from them?

 

A very important consideration for any potential substrate is whether or not it contains heavy metals. Many species bio-accumulate heavy metals in their tissues so it might be a trait common to higher fungi. And some species hyper-accumulate them, which equates to concentrations in fruitbodies up to 10,000 times background levels. From a highly-contaminated substrate (e.g. growing off of old pressure-treated wood that was treated with CCA), that could mean reaching potentially-fatal levels of toxicity (but this is also what makes these fungi such good candidates for bioremediation of toxic waste sites). I have no idea how recalcitrant dioxin is or if it can be bio-accumulated in fungi (organophosphate-based nerve agents are considered "highly recalcitrant" compounds meaning it's very hard to render the molecules safe or inert, but P. cubensis can easily break them apart to retrieve the phosphorus so the same may be true of some species with regards to dioxin).

 

So no matter what you grow on, if you're going to eat the mushrooms and the sub is potentially contaminated with even minute quantities of heavy metals then it's in your best interest to find out for sure.


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#6 lipase

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

My worry with books is that the older ones might not have soya ink ?????

 

and paper all sorts of paper why not recycle the book and grow on something else ??? its nice to reuse and it is nice to use something destined for the landfill anyway but growing mushrooms on some of this stuff can pass toxins into the food part of the mushrooms just my opinion

 

This link says (in the US) it books that are pre 1985 that have the possibility of having lead based inks... http://www.parentdis...lead-poisoning/ Unfortunately for me all the books I've got are printed around the 1960s!

 

I've just found an interesting snippet about dioxins here (but nothing about mushrooms): http://www.agentoran...what_is_dioxin/

 

'Dioxin is not absorbed by plants nor is it water soluble. It can attach to fine soil particles or sediment, which are then carried by water downstream and settle in the bottoms of ponds and lakes. It continues to adversely affect people who eat dioxin-contaminated fish, molluscs and fowl produced around point sources of dioxin called dioxin "hot spots." The good news is that for the most part as environmental restriction on emissions of dioxin and dioxin – like compounds have been tightened the levels of dioxin in the environment has decreased over the past 30 years.  However, dioxin is toxic over a long period – a scale of many decades – and does not degrade readily. The half-life of dioxin varies depending on where it is found, in humans the half life is between 11 and 15 years, in surface soil that has been fully exposed to sunlight the half-life is between 1 and 3 years and in sediment the half-life can be more than 100 years. '

 

Thanks everyone for replies! Looks like I won't be using these books for mushroom growing (due to possible lead poisoning)



#7 Moonless

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 09:28 PM

Does anyone know if now a days it is safe to grow mushrooms on books/mail ads/cardboard with ink?



#8 scott_1971_h

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:51 AM

Yes I know that (certainly the black) ink is non toxic and the paper is unbleached. I have grown oysters on phone books and survived.



#9 Moonless

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:27 PM

I appreciate you sharing your experience, its good to know that they will grow on phone books etc, but I want to know if its safe. TV said the heavy metals in cardboard packaging could have some serious health consequences. It's been a few years since the first post so i'm really wondering if cardboard packaging these days has less heavy metals in it.



#10 Moonless

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:38 PM

Heres what I found on duck duck go.

https://bioresources...d-board-papers/

 

This article says that there is about 2.6mg/kg of lead in cardboard meaning there is 2.6mg per kg of cardboard.

 

"The FDA, through its regulatory authority under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, limits levels of lead (as well as other contaminants) in bottled water by establishing allowable levels in the quality standard for bottled water. For lead, this level is set at 5 ppb. This level is below the 15 ppb allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for lead in public drinking water, as the tap water standard takes into account lead that can leach from pipes."

 

The FDA says that only 15 parts per billion of lead is acceptable for public water. I am unsure of the conversion rate from the density of lead to ppb but I do know one mg is a millionth of a Kg. Does this mean there is 2.6 parts per million of lead inside cardboard or does the exchange rate differ?

 

If my calculations are accurate and in respect to what TV mentioned above: oysters concentrate waste in the fruits then you definitely don't want to be growing on cardboard. Let me know if I made a mistake or am missing some information.


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#11 Moonless

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:39 PM

must also add:

United States Nineteen states in the USA have legislation and regulations that prohibit the sale or distribution of packaging with (intentionally added) cadmium, lead, mercury or hexavalent chromium. Should these metals appear to be present, the total concentration in the product shall not exceed 100 ppm. US legislation also states that this is not punishable unless the metals have been added on purpose. As to these two aspects to some extent legislation differs from that in Europe. The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) was established by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) in 1992 to assist the states to implement packaging legislation. TPCH investigates packaging on behalf of the nineteen states, financed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first report was published in 2007 and describes the test results for 355 packagings between October 2005 and February 2006. The screenings were continued in 2008 which resulted in a second report in June 2009. This contains the results of 409 packaging tests.

 

from:

https://www.rivm.nl/...n/609021114.pdf


Edited by Moonless, 09 April 2021 - 05:40 PM.





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