Finding mouldy food in the fridge is incredibly depressing. You come home from work feeling tired and hungry and often it’s only the thought of the delicious muffins waiting there for you that keep you going on the commute home. To open said fridge then and find that your muffin has become infested with mould… well, it’s nothing short of a tragedy.
In such a scenario you might understandably find yourself contemplating eating the muffin anyway. The mould is only affecting the very corner after all… can’t you just chop that off and eat the rest?
But is that a good idea?
The Nature of Mould
What you have to realise, unfortunately, is that mould isn’t always visible. What this means is that if you can see a green splodge of mould on the corner of your muffin, then there’s a good chance that there’s more than that in and around the snack and that you won’t be able to reliably remove all of it. The part you can see is the ‘spores’ which are the green/black/white spots, but thinly distributed these can go unnoticed on some surfaces, and beneath them are roots which can extend deep into your food.
In other words then, removing the mould alone won’t necessarily cut it – you may end up still eating a fair amount of mould without realising it.
Worth the Risk?
That’s only a problem though if that mould poses a risk, which really is a matter of perspective. Most mould you see is practically harmless and there’s certainly a good chance that you’ll get way with consuming the odd patch of mould – we breathe in mould fairly regularly anyway and some foods like blue cheese are actually made of mould.
Mould can be dangerous when the wrong kind is consumed in large quantities, and can cause respiratory problems as well as increasing your chances of cancer in the case of ‘mycotoxins’ which grow on apples, grains, grape juice and nuts. Even the worst moulds though aren’t going to cause you to immediately drop dead.
So in short, you probably shouldn’t make a habit of biting into lumps of mould. That said though, if you really wanted to eat that muffin and you were careful to remove a large chunk of the affected area, then you could probably get away with it every now and then. You daredevil you…