Foraging for mushrooms poses no less than the threat of death. Poisonous varieties and toxic plants have been fatal to more than one experienced forager. Even safe plants could be contaminated with pesticides, animal waste, or residue from nearby farms or factories. Furthermore, it may be flat-out illegal. In New York state, foraging on state territory is punishable by a fine of up to $250, 15 days in jail, or both (despite, of course, it’s long history in the region).