LSD, Ergot and Rye, Oh My!

| 12/1/2009 2:13:46 PM

Tags: rye, potatoes, poison, dangerous plants,

A photo of Shannon SaiaSo, we’re sitting on the sofa the other night, and my husband says, “Oh, so and so told me that you have to be careful with rye not to let it mold. He said that if you let it mold then it becomes poisonous.”


“He said that mold on rye has an LSD-like effect if you eat it.”


“So-and-so #2 has heard about it too.”

Well, I hadn’t heard about it. I am SO not eating the rye. Why is it that it seems like there is nothing you can do these days that isn’t going to rearrange or damage you, that is, if it doesn’t kill you off entirely???

Graham Anderson
1/11/2012 3:57:49 PM

The stage of ergot which contains alkaloids is the sclerotium, a purple structure that replaces kernels on a head of grain. If you look at your heads and don't see any black or dark purple grains, then you don't have ergot. Grains cannot be partly-infected with ergot, and sprouted or molded rye grains will not develop poisonous alkaloids. Happy growing!

12/2/2009 11:16:48 AM

Shannon, It seems as though you really did your research. I guess we do need to watch everything we eat - even if we grow it ourselves. I do feel much better though eating my garden produce or locally grown. Like you said it will be a great green manure and will help your garden grow next season. vickie

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