Keep Food In Your Fridge Safe

September 18, 2013

Raspberry YogurtThere’s a lot of exciting health news happening, but I’m going to delay those stories for later this week because I found a super helpful article from USA Today about mold in food. With all the recent mold-in-the-news stories (including the big Chobani recall of their Greek yogurt), USA Today put together a handy list of food safety tips.

Some highlights:

-Don’t sniff food to see if it’s good, you risk inhaling fungal spores that could pose later health problems.

-Don’t trim the mold—toss the entire thing (bread, yogurt, whatever) because that mold has roots that probably go through the whole thing. Plus, where’s there’s mold, there’s often invisible bacteria.

-Most food molds are only dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, many can eat it without noticing (but I wouldn’t experiment).

I find it both gross and fascinating. I mean, mold spores are actually everywhere—your skin, and in minute amounts in your food. It takes time, wetness, and (sometimes) darkness to get them to grow, however. That’s why you need to watch expiration dates on food, and why foods that are more moist, like yogurt and bread, are more prone to getting moldy.

And mold can have a range of effects. I mean, penicillin was discovered on bread! And then there’s the hallucinogenic bread mold that is theorized as contributing to witch trials of yore. (A serious side note to any looking for a trip: there are lots of common hallucinogens in nature, and there is a definite reason you haven’t heard of them! Safety, for one, and for two, it’s not going to be fun).

If you have a weakened immune system, read expiration dates carefully, look at your food before you eat it, and if you find mold, check nearby food to make sure mold spores didn’t get to it. Fungi are hard to get rid of if they get in you (it’s the more serious risk of being on antibiotics for a prolonged period). In a nutshell, they can be contoured with an intense regimen of probiotics (and prebiotics! You have to feed those good bacteria colonies lots of good foods to help them thrive).

Want to keep your food fresh a little longer? The latest thing in food storage is nano silver. But besides being expensive, there’s a good chance your dishwasher will wear it off eventually. DIY by spraying a little colloidal silver in your containers and letting it dry before adding food (it’s not really necessary for things that you’ll eat right away, but could be helpful for make ahead dishes).

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