If Your Food Too Moldy To Consume? Here’s How You Can Tell.
by Trisha Leigh
I think we’ve all experienced that moment when you pull out a block of cheese, hoping a yummy snack is in your future, and find a bit of mold at the edge. You stare at it for awhile, thinking it’s just a bit, and think about cutting it off and eating the rest.
Because it’s cheese and no one wants to throw it away.
Should you eat the rest, though? If there’s no visible mold, is it safe?
Here are a few ways you can tell.
Researcher and YouTuber Adam Ragusea wanted to get to the bottom of it, so he hooked up with Dr. Megan Biango-Daniels to learn more. He was hoping she would tell him which types of mold are safe enough to encounter and how to tell them from the sort that can be dangerous.
“Eating a lot of mold all at once could make you really, really sick. In contrast, eating just a little bit of mold probably wouldn’t do very much to you at first, unless you’re allergic. But eating small amounts of mold repeatedly over many years, scientists think that could cause serious health problems, from cancer to kidney and liver disease.”
Ragusea asked whether or not people are being overly-cautious by throwing out the whole block of cheese or loaf of bread, and Bjango-Daniels says yes, probably.
“Because blue cheese, the mold that you have on brie, all of these molds have been very kind of intentionally cultivated by humans…
And there’s almost now a very clear number of strains, which are used over and over for cheese producing, different varieties of cheese specifically.
And we know a lot about how they’re different from their very close wild relatives.”
When it comes to things other than cheese, though, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Ragusea sums it up like this…
“Life is risks. Life is making choices. But one way that you can minimize your risk when it comes to food mold is to keep your susceptible foods wrapped up really, really tightly.
The spores are floating around in the air, and then once they land in your food, the mold needs air to grow. …But as long as there are nutrients to be had, and as long as the food isn’t too acidic or whatever, mold will happen, eventually.
Life finds a way. Eat your food before something else does.”
Good news about the cheese, eh?
Eat away, my friends. Eat away.