Is The Fungus in The Last of Us Edible, and Would It Be Cannibalism?

One aspect of “The Last of Us” that makes it stand out from other zombie stories is its infected. They are not mindless ghouls that rise from the dead and go after brains, but rather a very real and terrifying threat. The Cordyceps fungus slowly steals away its host’s body until they are nothing but an empty shell. It’s why Parasect is the scariest Pokémon; it is literally an insect whose body is controlled by a giant mushroom.

As scary as this may be, there is one big upside to the outbreak: the world is now filled with millions of infected covered in an edible fungi that actually has some excellent health benefits. That’s right, someone has to be brave and say it, the people of “The Last of Us” are wasting their time if they are not just feasting on every clicker they come across.

Granted, this only works in the world of the show. In the game, the real danger is not the infected themselves, but the spores that spread the infection. If you start eating some delicious sautéed mushroom you got from a clicker, you might suddenly inhale some spores and slowly turn into an infected yourself. But in the show? That is not an issue, so eat away! The Cordyceps may have evolved to survive human body temperatures, but no one said anything about a frying pan. The best weapon you can find in the games is a flame thrower, and if those games had Smell-O-Vision, you better believe it would smell delicious. 

Why eat the corpse of your friend when you can find some random infected and feast off it? The head of a clicker already resembles a chicken of the woods mushroom, so go ahead, trim the juicy bits off a clicker like you’re shaving meat for a kebab, and survive the apocalypse in comfort.

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