Cutting mushrooms with a knife: insane behaviour

You regularly come across them in mushroom country too: the people who believe they know tricks that help nature enormously. For instance, there is a whole herd of people who “believe” that you should not pick mushrooms but cut them off with a knife. There was then a whole scientific study on it, which ‘proved’ that in the short term it doesn’t matter. However, this research is referred to by ‘carvers’ to justify this habit, which is not how it works.

First, however, I am going to address an argument that you should pick ‘no or few mushrooms’ because otherwise the animals would have nothing to eat and you would ‘upset the balance’.

No, it is not ‘in the balance’. First, it is terribly condescending towards animals to say that they are less able to hunt than humans. Secondly, the decline in those animal and insect populations is not due to game picking, but rather the lack of game picking. The more mushrooms are picked the more they spread and the more will grow. In a situation with a sharply declining animal and insect population, your approach is precisely a death sentence for the mushroom population and thus also a death sentence for those bunnies. Nature does not need your ‘management’, nature has worked without ‘management’ for 500 million years. Not picking mushrooms is an insult to the forest. The diversity of mushrooms is much, much greater in picking countries like Poland. Stop this nonsense!

Besides, with that severely reduced animal and insect population, logically speaking, there are mushrooms enough for each! But that mushroom population is also declining, but with good picking policies (picking as much as possible), hopefully that process can be slowed down.

Picking or cutting?

OK, so we have a study that has ‘demonstrated’ that the direct harm to mycelia from a made-up habit ‘cutting is better’ does not exist, so the motive for the habit can go straight into the bin. It is insane behaviour, because the definition of insane behaviour is behaviour that does nothing and exists for no reason. But of course it does not stop there. Because it has only looked at what the DIRECT damage is to the mycelium, which is negligible. However, it has not looked at:

*What if picking gives the mycelium a signal to start producing a new mushroom and thus leaving the base of the mushroom in place interferes with the growth of new mushrooms?

*What if the cannibalising effect of having to eat its own flesh causes degradation of DNA as cannibalism has been shown to do elsewhere?

*Gerard Koopman’s idea that leaving rotting fruits on trees en masse has no consequence for the trees is hugely short-sighted: fruits exist to spread seeds, and by exposing those seeds to mould and air you sabotage the tree’s chances of survival, and so too with mushrooms.

*There is simply no logical reasoning at all: where trees still have resin against fungal invasions, mycelia do not; leaving a foot with transport channels to the mycelium is just a terribly stupid idea.

Pick, then. And as many as possible. And stop badgering the declining animal population.

Mountains, giants and mushrooms – in this fairytale-like collection, magic whirls and swirls, yet another reality breaks through as well – the whole world turned into The Shining, and the pilgrimage to Szymborska’s grave, a simple stone in Krakow, fails at the last minute; a journey without check marks across sixteen national borders to his daughter, however, succeeds. In its combination of fairy-tale nature, historical background and eerily topical reality, this collection of poems is Benders’ best since he lost count.


You have no time to read this, but that is because you are no longer human. If something of the original person were still alive in you, the old mycelia of childhood, then you would learn a lot from this book, indeed, with its magical knowledge, it might become your most useful possession. A book about the human imagination, and how it managed to get into the iron grip of trans-dimensional cockroaches. Furthermore, there are also magical tips to substantially improve your life and your time acceleration, and M.H.H. Benders also makes light-hearted mincemeat of the entire Dutch literature, what more could you want!

If you don’t want to crawl around mars like a cyber insect under a scrubbed boot – which is on the agenda – then you’d do well to read this book.

The first collected work of Martinus Hendrikus Hogervorst-Benders comprises no fewer than 712 pages and weighs in at least 1.4 kilos in thin print. It is the most ambitious collection written in the last thirty years, and certainly one of the highlights of Dutch literature as a whole, in line with Snoek and van de Woestijne. Anyone with a heart for literature and who wants to read an ambitious book brimming with cast-iron poems instead of yet another typical Dutch-language ‘masterpiece’ will be delighted with the purchase of this brick.

The Microdose Bible is the worlds most comprehensive and complete oversight of mind altering substances, teacher plants and mushrooms. Dutch mycologist and philosopher M.H.H.Benders takes you on a magical journey full of wonder about what teachers nature has to offer. Includes the Psychosupersum, a guide that describes all known mental disorders and offers wisdom for their treatment. 

This book will be published end of 2022.