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The bracha on a mushroom is "shehakol" because the Talmud (Berachot 40b) correctly (I think) states that mushrooms do not derive their nutrients from the ground.

If a mushroom is growing in a vineyard, does that constitute Kilaei HaKerem (forbidden mixture of plant species in a vineyard) considering that it is not growing from the soil? What if it is growing on a rock outcropping in the vineyard so that it isn't even touching the ground?

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Does the fact that a mushroom is not a plant have any bearing on this? –  avi Feb 1 '12 at 20:37
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In terms of it's taxonomic status, probably not. But the differences in structure and function which biologists pick up on may also be picked up by chazal and can lead to different applications of halacha for mushrooms than standard plants. The question is, are those differences relevant for Kilaei HaKerem. –  Double AA Feb 1 '12 at 20:41
    
I could be wrong here, but I thought forbidden mixtures only count when you actually plant the vegetation. Meaning, do weeds count as kilaei hakerem, and if not, are you asking about a situation where mushrooms are planted or when they grow naturally? –  avi Feb 1 '12 at 20:55
    
@avi You're rule is true of Kilaei Zeraim (mixtures of seeds) which is only forbidden to plant. When it involves grapes it's called Kilaei HaKerem and the fruit that grows even by accident is assur behanaah, forbidden to derive benefit from. So it would make a big difference even if they grew by themselves. –  Double AA Feb 1 '12 at 21:07
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@user4832 What does heterotrophy have to do with soil reliance? You're missing a key step in your logic here. –  Double AA Jan 22 at 22:43

2 Answers 2

How often are mushrooms eaten in isolation? This needs to be taken into consideration. Outrageously I state mushrooms are not within the parameters of "food". It serves as a garnish as a matter of practice, although not belonging to the herbal or vegetative status traditional garnishes do. Think to yourself: how often do we eat parsley on our own. This doesn't constitute something other than being EDIBLE. Edible items don't constitute the major class of items we'd day a bracha. So then why! Because a mushroom is the size of a kazayit!

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Frankly, I happen to agree with you that they aren't food, but I'm willing to accept that other people have messed up gustatory systems. I'm not entirely sure though how this post addresses the question? –  Double AA May 4 at 15:34
    
1. In Halacha we see that they are treated as food, as they are often mentioned. 2. Since when is that a criteria for Kilaei HaKerem? –  Danny Schoemann May 5 at 6:28

A number of points:

  1. Kilaei Zeraim applies to things that grow from the ground. Mushrooms do not qualify.

  2. Kilaei Zeraim is forbidden only if you plant it intentionally OR if you leave it that after you find it and it grows to maturity.

  3. Kilaei Zeraim requires at least TWO different types of seeds to be planted in addition to the vine itself.

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I don't see how 2 is relevant. I don't know what you are saying in 3. And 1 is exactly the question I am asking but you bring no source for your claim. And BTW I was discussing Kilaei HaKerem not Kilaei Zeraim. –  Double AA Jul 16 '12 at 14:41
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2. I was tring to point out that if they do grow there by themvles then it is ok as long as you remove them when you find them. This, of course, applies to other things and not to mushrooms since mushrooms are not considered a plant. –  theblitz Jul 16 '12 at 14:49
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3: From Tambam : ואינו לוקה משום זורע כלאי הכרם עד שיזרע בארץ ישראל חטה ושעורה וחרצן במפולת יד –  theblitz Jul 16 '12 at 14:50
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Ok but 1 is really the important section, and I don't see a source yet. –  Double AA Jul 16 '12 at 14:51
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1. אין אסור משום כלאי הכרם, אלא מיני תבואה ומיני ירקות בלבד. אבל שאר מיני זרעים, מותר לזורען בכרם; ואין צריך לומר, שאר אילנות. –  theblitz Jul 16 '12 at 14:56

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