IN THE NEWS: How Safe Is Moldy Food To Eat?

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IN THE NEWS: What do you do with questionable edible food? Is the sniff-test accurate? Professor Ken Albala, food historian, weighs in on the safety of eating moldy bread (NPR).

There are so many different kinds of mold, many of which are perfectly benign and even delicious, like the whitish powder on the outside of brie cheese or a good naturally cured salami. There’s also koji mold, one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine. It’s used to make sake and miso and many people are now experimenting with it to cure meat. So mold shouldn’t be feared. I think we are about to appreciate mold in the ways we have been learning to love natural bacteria as a probiotic and as a culinary flavoring (in pickles, cheese, cured meat, sourdough bread, etc.)

But the mold on bread neither tastes good, nor is it good for you. Why anyone in their right mind would want to eat moldy bread, I can’t imagine. So I’m not really sure who this article is talking about. If you have mold on your bread throw it away. If it’s a little spot or two, I do often scrape it off, with no ill effects. But if it’s greenish and hairy, of course toss it!

Learn more with Professor Albala on The Great Courses Plus!

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