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  • You've seen it growing on your fruit,

  • eating your leftovers,

  • and maybe even hiding in your basement.

  • This is mold.

  • It smells bad,

  • it's creepy-looking,

  • and even if you don't know much about it,

  • you probably know enough to keep it

  • as far away from your mouth as possible.

  • There are up to 300,000

  • different types of mold,

  • and they could affect you

  • in very different ways.

  • Some could ruin your day

  • by causing nausea or diarrhea.

  • Some could be used to make expensive cheeses,

  • and others could nearly kill you!

  • So how do you know which kind of mold you're dealing with?

  • And is it ever okay to just eat around the mold on your food?

  • I'm asking for a friend.

  • Mold is the microscopic fungi you can find living on

  • plants, animals,

  • and even in buildings.

  • Molds form branches that are like thin threads called hyphae.

  • These can burrow into food, something you might miss since they can be difficult to see.

  • If you do notice mold growing on your food,

  • your first question will probably be,

  • hmm, "should I throw this away?"

  • So we've put together a little guide to help you figure it out.

  • If you find mold on soft foods like yogurts,

  • jams, peaches, or tomatoes,

  • you should throw them out right away.

  • But if you find mold on harder foods like cheese, carrots, or hard salami,

  • it's ok to cut the mold out and eat the rest of your food.

  • Harder, denser foods are more difficult for mold to penetrate,

  • meaning it can't spread inwards as quickly as it can in softer foods.

  • But let's imagine that you didn't have this handy guide, and you ate some moldy food.

  • What would happen to you?

  • Well, the biggest problem wouldn't be the mold itself.

  • It's the other things that come along with the mold that could really hurt you.

  • First off, there's the invisible bacteria that can accompany the mold.

  • If you eat that bacteria you would experience stomach pain, vomiting,

  • and several urgent trips to the washroom.

  • But that would be nothing compared to the damage that would come

  • from eating something called mycotoxins.

  • Mycotoxins are poisonous substances that are produced by certain strains of mold;

  • they can be found in a variety of foods,

  • and can survive almost all kinds of food processing.

  • There are many kinds of mycotoxins, about 500 to be specific.

  • Perhaps the most dangerous variety is known as aflatoxin.

  • Aflatoxin grows on corn and peanuts.

  • Too much aflotoxin can cause liver damage, cancer,

  • DNA damage, and immune system deficiency.

  • But not all mold is harmful.

  • In fact, some people eat mold on purpose.

  • Take blue cheese, for example;

  • it's produced using the non-toxic blue molds penicillium roqueforti and penicillium glaucum.

  • These molds have anti-bacterial properties that enable them to suppress pathogens.

  • They also break down proteins,

  • which is why blue cheese is so creamy and has a sharp flavor.

  • Just like most things on our planet, there's more to mold than meets the eye.

  • Sure it can make you sick, but

  • it's also the key to one of the most powerful antibiotics of all time:

  • Penicillin.

  • Maybe there's another world-changing innovation

  • just waiting to be discovered somewhere in that fuzzy blue mess,

  • but that's a topic for another WHAT IF.

You've seen it growing on your fruit,

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B1 US mold blue cheese cheese damage bacteria produced

What Happens If You Eat Mold?

  • 67 1
    minami.kuo posted on 2019/11/15
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