Safeshrooms

Safeshrooms
Image from Steve Bowers

Safeshrooms (also NoFunGi, Goodshrooms)

When gengineering was first turned on mushrooms, an interesting set of intermediate types, intended to be both food and drug, were derived from "inky-cap" mushrooms (Coprinus species) that bore genes for coprine production. Coprine in even trace quantities disrupts the metabolic breakdown of alcohol, and makes anyone who drinks alcohol up to a day after consuming the mushrooms quite violently ill. The new products were marketed as "safeshrooms". Such mushrooms became a voluntary part of the diet of many reformed alcoholics, and a mandatory part of the diets of many other persons, depending on the decisions of the society in question.

Safeshroom consumption might be required by parents or community authorities for minors, by legal authorities for those convicted of crimes relating to alcohol, by religious groups for some or all members, by corporations for employees as a part of their contract, by community or condominium covenant in some residential areas, or as part of an overall accident prevention policy by hab, dome, or arcology managers (these managers often managed to push such policies through if the settlement in question was in a dangerous environment, or far from help). In the many centuries following their invention safeshrooms have sometimes been a vector in memetic warfare. For instance they were used, though unsuccessfully, by fundamentalist Christians against hardline Erotocrats in the struggle for control of the population of Dionysos (then Jerusalem).

Safeshrooms in many delicious varieties are still traditionally consumed in many cultures either as a life habit or during particular periods. For instance, they are a permanent part of the diet for many humans in the Stellar Umma in the modern era.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 21 January 2009.