You’re all ready to make a sandwich of your dreams. Turkey tomato and Swiss on a bed of romaine lettuce sandwiched between two slices of sourdough. Classic! But oh no! You spot a mould on your bread loaf. Such a disappointing sight. Isn’t it? But the mold is only on one part of the bread that you can cut and consume your yummy sandwich. But wait. Is that a good idea?
This report suggests to never eat the clean part of the moldy bread because there’s no such thing as a clean part of the mouldy bread. That’s because mold is a fungus-like mushroom. The caps on the surface are easy to spot but there’s a vast network of subterranean roots called Hyphae that you can’t see.
Grabbing another piece of bread from the same loaf might not be a good idea either because by the time the mould sprouts its fuzzy head, the reproductive part of the mold, that you can see, called the sporangium. Each sporangium releases tons of thousands of spores. So even though you can’t see it, that entire loaf could be teeming with fungus.
But it seems like a waste to throw the entire sandwich. After all, we consume mold in the form of many food products like cheese, soy sauce and even life-saving antibiotics like penicillin. Eating a little bit on your bread can’t be that bad, right? Well, it’s ultimately 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 trigger allergies. Other molds like, Penicillium Crustocum produce harmful poisons, called Mycotoxins.
An elderly couple was admitted in 2005 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 its permanent effects and you might recognise this mold since it commonly grows on bread. Blue-green with black splotches and super fuzzy. In a rare case, 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’ve no clue which one you’re about to put in your mouth. Ask yourself, is it worth the risk?