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Soak a few western morels in a small bowl of water. Take a look at the nasty black tea of ash that forms. Then cut a couple of unsoaked in half and leave at room temp. In a couple of hours you will see 5 small maggotts crawling in the small holes on the inside of the morel. (All western morels have them). Now I wouldn`t eat or drink that black nasty tea and I sure wouldn`t eat any maggott infested morels or serve them to any customers. Now do you understand why those who pick them dry them and don`t eat them fresh. A few greedy individuals are trying to sell the western morels for fresh picked ready to eat and they are trying to sell them at prices in the 20`s. These sell for $6 a pound in the west. Dont be fooled people. Demand what you know is good-local morels. There is no comparison. The seller will tell you they have no maggots or worms as they call them out west and at first glance you won`t notice any. Cut a couple in half and wait a bit. It will make you weasy and want to puke. Many get sick eating them. Probably from the fire retardant chemicals they grew in. DD
 

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Another way to check them is just stick it in the fridge for a few hours in a bag and many will wiggle out onto the bottom of the bag. Maybe they should try to sell them as extra protein. They can be picked in burns without the the infestation but you need to be real selective on what you pick. I have seen them both ways. I hate to say it put I picked some in Central Kansas that had the same maggots in them in a place I had never seen them before a couple of years ago, no burn involved. Is it some fly laying eggs? Maybe the warming climate? the black tea I guess you can learn to live with, but you are right out west they pay nothing for them.
when we went out to Nebraska there were little bugs all over the morels all of them were ruined thats why we never go out to that area anymore.
 

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tommyjosh: those little bugs you are referring to likely are Springtails:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtail
harmless and not a danger. Once in the pan, they will reduce to near nada.
Golden rules with morels are to pick far from roads (heavy metal contamination from lead fuel in the post 90's era) and right of ways including train tracks of any sort (pesticide/chemicals). Burn areas also are to avoid because of fire retardant contamination. Last, the same applies for apple orchards (arsenic-based pesticide lingers in soil for decades). All and all, "if you are deep in the (unburned) woods, you're good".
 

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Soak a few western morels in a small bowl of water. Take a look at the nasty black tea of ash that forms. Then cut a couple of unsoaked in half and leave at room temp. In a couple of hours you will see 5 small maggotts crawling in the small holes on the inside of the morel. (All western morels have them). Now I wouldn`t eat or drink that black nasty tea and I sure wouldn`t eat any maggott infested morels or serve them to any customers. Now do you understand why those who pick them dry them and don`t eat them fresh. A few greedy individuals are trying to sell the western morels for fresh picked ready to eat and they are trying to sell them at prices in the 20`s. These sell for $6 a pound in the west. Dont be fooled people. Demand what you know is good-local morels. There is no comparison. The seller will tell you they have no maggots or worms as they call them out west and at first glance you won`t notice any. Cut a couple in half and wait a bit. It will make you weasy and want to puke. Many get sick eating them. Probably from the fire retardant chemicals they grew in. DD
It would be great if this post was removed for blatant lying ...why would anyone make this post I don't understand
 

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tommyjosh: those little bugs you are referring to likely are Springtails:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtail
harmless and not a danger. Once in the pan, they will reduce to near nada.
Golden rules with morels are to pick far from roads (heavy metal contamination from lead fuel in the post 90's era) and right of ways including train tracks of any sort (pesticide/chemicals). Burn areas also are to avoid because of fire retardant contamination. Last, the same applies for apple orchards (arsenic-based pesticide lingers in soil for decades). All and all, "if you are deep in the (unburned) woods, you're good".
Best to just leave em all their really not safe stay indoors everyone
 

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To make a sweeping blanket statement like all morels from burns are buggy is absolutely foolish...I've eaten burn morels plenty and have never experienced any of the unpleasant things some midwesterners say
 

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Soak a few western morels in a small bowl of water. Take a look at the nasty black tea of ash that forms. Then cut a couple of unsoaked in half and leave at room temp. In a couple of hours you will see 5 small maggotts crawling in the small holes on the inside of the morel. (All western morels have them). Now I wouldn`t eat or drink that black nasty tea and I sure wouldn`t eat any maggott infested morels or serve them to any customers. Now do you understand why those who pick them dry them and don`t eat them fresh. A few greedy individuals are trying to sell the western morels for fresh picked ready to eat and they are trying to sell them at prices in the 20`s. These sell for $6 a pound in the west. Dont be fooled people. Demand what you know is good-local morels. There is no comparison. The seller will tell you they have no maggots or worms as they call them out west and at first glance you won`t notice any. Cut a couple in half and wait a bit. It will make you weasy and want to puke. Many get sick eating them. Probably from the fire retardant chemicals they grew in. DD
I disagree with you. I picked a few a couple days ago and haven't found anything like you said. Only difference is I haven't seen any ants or slugs inside like I have in Illinois
 

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It would be great if this post was removed for blatant lying ...why would anyone make this post I don't understand
I’m not even sure why people are saying maggots? Maggots live on dead or dying flesh so it makes no sense for them to be on a mushroom. I could be wrong since I’ve never heard that before but I highly doubt it. I’ve been mushroom hunting for 30 years and never ran into this.
 

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tommyjosh: those little bugs you are referring to likely are Springtails:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtail
harmless and not a danger. Once in the pan, they will reduce to near nada.
Golden rules with morels are to pick far from roads (heavy metal contamination from lead fuel in the post 90's era) and right of ways including train tracks of any sort (pesticide/chemicals). Burn areas also are to avoid because of fire retardant contamination. Last, the same applies for apple orchards (arsenic-based pesticide lingers in soil for decades). All and all, "if you are deep in the (unburned) woods, you're good".
I think you mean PRE 90's era. That's when unleaded gas was introduced.

And I've found bugs and slugs on morels. Just one reason to give them a quick cleaning in the field, and a more thorough one at home. I bought a makeup brush that women would use to apply blusher at the local discount store for a buck or two! I use that in the field to brush off obvious dirt and critters before the shroom goes in the bag. Very soft bristles, so it won't tear them up.Then a thorough rinsing at home. I''m not a big fan of eating bugs, but they are a dietary staple in many cultures. They are almost pure protein. And I forget how many "insect body parts" the government allows in canned fruits and veggies!
 
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