There is no such thing as the "clean" part of moldy bread, explained a YouTube video of Tech Insider. Although it seems wasteful to throw away, bread science says that bread in contact with molds should not be consumed anymore. Why?
Well, it is because mold is a type of fungus. Other fungi, like a mushroom, has a vast number of roots called hyphae that spread beneath the surface that cannot be seen by the naked eye. That means even if you rip the moldy part of the bread and eat the clean part of the bread, it still has roots of the mold in it.
The same goes for eating other pieces of bread from the same loaf where the moldy one was taken. Molds, like mushrooms, release many spores into the air that can spread and infect the entire loaf.
Like eating mushrooms wherein some are edible while many are poisonous, eating mold is a gamble. Some molds, like the life-saving antibiotics, are helpful, but some are also dangerous. The mold Rhizopus stolonifer that usually grows in bread can cause deadly infections.
Molds Are a Type of Fungi
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), if molds are observed under a microscope it can be seen that they are very skinny mushrooms. They have a stalk with spores on top that forms the Bluegreen burst seen on the bread.
However, their roots are so tiny that it cannot be seen with the naked eye because it is microscopic. That is why cutting out the moldy part and eating the clean part of the bread is not advisable as it is teeming with these mold threads. Plus, USDA said that moldy bread could also harbor bacteria growing along with the mold.
Moreover, molds have spores that could jump from one bread to another, like dandelion seeds blowing across the lawn, spreading throughout the loaf of bread.
What About Moldy Cheese? Is It Safe to Eat?
If throwing away moldy bread is advisable, does it also apply to moldy cheese? According to the Treehugger, the USDA has listed some guidelines for food safety with regards to moldy cheese as well as fruits and vegetables.
- Do not sniff the moldy food as it can cause respiratory issues.
- Discard properly the moldy food by putting it inside a small paper bag or wrap it in a plastic bag then, dispose of it in a covered trash can. Make sure that it is out of children's reach.
- Clean the area where the moldy food was placed. Molds can spread easily throughout surfaces, especially on fruits and vegetables.
- For specific guidelines of moldy food handling, see chart "Moldy Food: When to Use, When to Discard" at the USDA's website.
Most of the foods listed on the chart should be thrown away should molds get into any of them, like luncheon meat, soft or sliced cheeses, and soft fruits. Also, always throw moldy peanut butter, jellies, yogurt, casseroles, and pasta. But they also identified few foods that can be salvaged.
Gorgonzola and Roquefort cheese are created with molds that are safe to eat. If you see molds in your hard cheese, the USDA advises to cut it off at least one inch around and below the mold spot and recover it with fresh wrap.
Check out more news and information on Fungi on Science Times.