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Collecting mushrooms at the Campsite Princeplatz Slovenia

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Collecting mushrooms at the Campsite Princeplatz in Slovenia

Thick stop and go traffic, as usual in the area around Stuttgart, had caused some traffic jams, so we had to move the planned arrival time at the Camper Stop in Slovenia to the night.

The advantage created by that was then to use the highway through Austria without any traffic, so it was a very relaxed approach to Slovenia. After arriving in the night, the only thing to do was to set up the electricity connection and then move to the bunk.

The next morning showed itself gray and rainy, so we decided to work on the laptop, as little later the owner of the camper stop Marjan, came to the caravan for a warm hello and welcome and invited us to the collecting of local mushroom in the forest opposite the campsite Princeplatz. Of course, we were instantly enthusiastic about the expected new findings, despite the dull warm weather, which was quite beneficial to the growth of the mushrooms. Similar campaigns in the north of Germany were quickly remembered from many years ago. At that time, we collected mushrooms, long before the Chernobyl disaster. Some panic in the past years on the food usage is often not leading to a proper goal, but the obscurity and delay of knowledge is not as well. Best always is to create an own way.

Even more than 31 years after the reactor accident of Chernobyl some species of wild mushrooms in parts of Bavaria are still burdened with strongly radioactive cesium-137. As reported by the German Federal Office of Radiation Protection, however, the additional radiation exposure is low when the mushrooms are consumed in a normal way. According to the data, there are exceptionally highly contaminated smaller areas in the Bavarian Forest, at Donaumoos south of Ingolstadt and the Mittenwald region. In northern Germany, however, much less cesium-137 had been deposited after the reactor accident in April 1986.

Naturally, there had been comparable investigations in Slovenia which had led to similar results as in Northern Germany, as Marjan confirmed after discussion and inquiries from our site, so we were curious about what we will probably find in the basket later on. Mushrooms sold on the market may not exceed the limit of 600 Becquerel per kilogram. According to BfS, an even stricter limit must be observed for wild mushrooms offered on the market. The observance of this limit value is controlled by the official food inspection department by random sampling. On-the-spot inspections in Slovenia had resulted in much lower impact values, which were almost natural.

A single meal with more heavily contaminated wild mushrooms can contain more cesium-137 than consumers with other food from agricultural production in an entire year. If, however, even collected mushrooms are consumed in conventional quantities, consumers do not have to expect negative health effects due to the radioactivity content, according to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection. However, the German Society of Nutrition advises, for other reasons, to limit the consumption of wild mushrooms to 250 grams per week. They can accumulate toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, which is maybe more serious.

As we said, we had not eaten mushrooms for decades (apart from the usual champions), also because the opportunity for the gathering was missing. So we were astonished at the short time and the great size of mushrooms. Incredibly, where Marjan was only fixed on a kind of stone mushroom, whose local name unfortunately did not allow for a species connection and structure, however, were very similar to the mushroom, we know as Steinpilz. If someone in the appreciated readership should know the name, we would be very pleased about a feedback.

It only took 10 minutes and the basket was well filled. After returning to the pitch, Marjan directly went to cleaning and cutting the mushrooms. Also here we were curious about the local way of preparation. About 1 centimeter thick slices were cut, which were then cooked in virgin olive oil. Marjan's comment on our objection to supplements such as onions or egg received a clear refusal: I would like the taste of the mushrooms, not onions or egg. So it really only needed a pinch of salt and some pepper from the mill to prepare the solid slices delicious. And the taste was impressive. Really delicious, without any further additions.

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