You head into the kitchen, open the bread bag to prep your morning toast and you notice a little something funky growing there... what do you do? If you're like me, you probably picked the moldy part off, tossed it away and proceeded with your morning routine.
After you read this, you might think twice before you bite down into that post-mold bread with your chompers.
Marianne Gravely of the United States Department of Agriculture says that eating moldy bread is a bad move. "With soft food, it's very easy for the roots (of the mold), or the tentacles, or whatever creepy word you want to use, to penetrate" the food," she said according to NPR.
Creepy indeed. Mold Bacteria Facts reports that there are millions of mold spores in the air all the time. When those spores settle on surfaces (like your bread or the counter), they start to multiply. Bread acts as a food source for the mold so it keeps growing as it breaks down the bread. The mold can actually double in size in about an hour! So while it may look like there's not much there, the mold has likely spread deeper than your eye can see.
Important factoid: Mold grows better in warm temperatures it can grow in cold temperatures, so the fridge only offers so much protection. If you have more bread than you can eat, separate it into baggies and put it in the freezer. The temperature in the freezer is cold enough to prevent mold growth, Sciencing reports.
Moldy bread may seem harmless but it can cause nausea and vomiting (or worse for people with mold allergies). Even more concerning, according to NPR, is that once you see mold developing on bread other, potentially more harmful, bacteria has likely taken root.
When in doubt: throw it out. Wrap the bread in a bag and take it out the trash to keep kids and pets from eating the contaminated bread.
Know a penny-pincher who can't bear to part with their slightly moldy bread? Make sure to share this with them on Facebook.