It’s not safe to eat bread or fruit contaminated with mold, even if you cut away
the moldy parts. When mold reproduces, it spreads throughout your food,
hiding in places you can't see. And while many species of mold are harmless,
others can make you very sick. It's just not worth the risk.
You're all ready to make the sandwich of your dreams. Turkey, tomato, and Swiss
on a bed of romaine lettuce sandwiched between two slices of sourdough.
Classic, but oh no! What's this? Mold? Ugh. But look, good news, the mold's only
on part of the bread so I could just cut that away and be fine, right?
There's no such thing as a clean part of moldy bread. That's because mold
is a fungus like mushrooms. The caps on the surface are easy enough to spot,
but there's a vast network of subterranean roots called hyphae that you can't see.
So let's take another look at that bread of yours. Ugh, disgusting. Well, maybe you
can just grab another piece from the same loaf. Well, that's not such a good idea,
either. because by the time the mold sprouts its fuzzy head, what you're really
seeing is the reproductive part of the mold called sporangiums. Each sporangium
releases tens of thousands of spores, so even though you can't see it,
that entire loaf could be teeming with fungus. But it seems like such a waste to
just throw it out. After all, you eat mold on purpose all the time like the mold that
goes into making cheese, soy sauce, and even life-saving antibiotics like penicillin.
Eating a little bit on your bread can't be that bad, right? Well, ultimately,
it's a gamble.Just like eating a wild mushroom many are fine, but some can
be deadly.Mold is the same way. There are thousands of different species of
mold many of which are harmless to humans. But since so many types can
sprout up on food,it's nearly impossible to know if what you're eating is safe.
Cladosporium, for example, can sometimes trigger allergies but is generally
harmless, whereas other molds like Penicillium crustosum produce harmful poisons
called Mycotoxins.An elderly couple in 2005, for example, was admitted to the
hospital after eating a can of soup contaminated with this kind of mold.
They had severe muscle tremors but eventually recovered. But other molds,
like Rhizopus stolonifer, can have permanent effects, and you might recognize
this mold since it commonly grows on bread. Blue green with black splotches
and super fuzzy. In rare cases, it can prompt a deadly infection called
Zygomycosis, which causes your blood to clot and can ultimately starve your
cells of oxygen to the point that they die.And it's not like bacteria,
where a little heat will eliminate the threat, because high temperatures
won't break down the Mycotoxins. And since you have no clue which one
you're about to put in your mouth, ask yourself is it really worth the risk?
1. Why can't we eat the clean part of Moldy Bread?
2. What is a mold?
3. What moldy food that we can eat?