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Old wives tales?

ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,891
My mum taught us to always peel mushrooms, which I did until told off in my twenties by a friend, who said they just needed wiping and I’d lose a lot of the flavour. It has since occurred to me that my mother would only have eaten wild mushrooms from the local fields, and needed to confirm what it was she had picked. 
I was also warned off watercress - danger of liver flukes- and leeks were out of favour for being full of grit and earth. 
And is it safe to eat potatoes that have sprouted? My father in law would buy huge sacks at a time, and they would last him for months, but they must have been sprouting.
How many of these are old wives tales, and how much should I still pay heed to?
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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,006
    I haven't peeled a mushroom since I left home about 50 years ago.  Even wild ones just get cleaned with a brush.   As far as I know,commercial watercress is grown in controlled water conditions so is free from nasties and leeks are easy enough to wash clean.

    We don't eat many potatoes so I just buy a small bag as and when needed.  Some do sprout and I just rub those off.  If they get left too long I plant them and get extra spuds after a bit of a wait.

    The one about running tap water before drinking it was a good in the days of lead pipes but no longer necessary.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,286
    edited April 2023
    My mum always first poured boiling water over mushrooms them peeled them, so I did too when I moved out and started feeding myself. Then I found out it wasn't necessary, so since then I just use a pastry brush to remove any bits of compost still on them.

    Flukes in watercress only happens (afaik) if there are sheep upstream that drink the water. I grow watercress in the header pool of the waterfall for my fishpond and eat it.

    When I use leeks I cut off the rooty bit at the bottom then slice from the bottom up to near the top of the leaves then holding the leek upside-down under the tap I wash any grit/soil from them.

    I do eat spuds that have sprouted a little, but if they feel in the least bit soft I don't.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • M33R4M33R4 Posts: 291
    edited April 2023
    Yes my mum also peels mushrooms. I stopped that years ago unless the skin is a little dimpled or not so fresh in which case I do peel the skin off those ones. Most of the Vit D is stored in the skins so they are good for you.

    I don't like wet mushrooms that leak lots of water when cooked hence I never wash them and cook them on very high heat with little stirring. 

    Watercress picked in the rivers can contain contaminants. Some have sheep dip leaking, or if near a burial site have embalming fluid going into the water system, all going into those rivers for instance. I only use supermarket ones as not tried growing my own yet.

    Sprouting potatoes are safe although some develop a different flavour once they start sprouting. 

    Another one for Potatoes - My mum used to say it's dangerous to eat green potatoes. 
    I wish I could garden all year round!
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    My mum always peeled and washed mushrooms,  I don’t.
    Green potatoes are harmful to pregnant women as the can cause Spina Bifida, but that could be an old wives tale?  I think it’s true though. 

    I just pick off the eyes on potatoes,  can’t see as they can be harmful. 

    When I was little, I loved to chew on a piece of cabbage stump/stalk,  my mum said I shouldn’t  as I would get worms. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,286
    Lyn said:

    When I was little, I loved to chew on a piece of cabbage stump/stalk,  my mum said I shouldn’t  as I would get worms. 

    I remember my mum telling me that if I ate any of the pith from oranges and the like I'd get worms.
    Only an occasional boiled egg too - as they cause constipation :smiley:

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    They had some funny ideas,  all inherited from their mums I suppose.
    I think the egg one was because they just couldn’t afford them.
    rarely a fresh egg, plenty available dried form.

    Anyone else get a dose of Syrup of Figs on a Friday night,  it was a regular thing,  had to stay in on Saturdays. 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,761
    Lyn said:

    Anyone else get a dose of Syrup of Figs on a Friday night,  it was a regular thing,  had to stay in on Saturdays. 😀
    'a regular thing' - aye that was the whole idea @Lyn... :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • M33R4M33R4 Posts: 291
    Lyn said:....
    When I was little, I loved to chew on a piece of cabbage stump/stalk,  my mum said I shouldn’t  as I would get worms. 
    Yes you just reminded me of another thing, not plant related but nevertheless! Don't walk barefoot as you will get worms she said my mum  :)
    I wish I could garden all year round!
  • M33R4M33R4 Posts: 291
    Don't swallow pips or the fruit tree will grow in your tummy  :smile:

     ;) 
    I wish I could garden all year round!
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