Moldy Food

Everything that's animal or vegetable can get moldy. While

living things are alive, the mold attackers can be held at bay. As

soon as they are dead, molding begins. First it molds; then bacterial

action sets in. This is what makes things biodegradable. It

is a precious phenomenon. It does away with filthóin an exquisite

manner. Without mold and decay the streets of New York

would still be full of horse manure from the days of the horse and

buggy and our lakes too full of dead fish to swim in.

Every grain has its molds; every fruit has its molds; tea and

coffee plants have their molds; as do all herbs, and vegetables.

Nuts have their molds; nuts grown in the ground (peanuts) are

especially moldy because the earth is so full of mold spores. But

the wind carries these spores high up into trees, and even up to

the stratosphere. Molds are not very choosy. They have their

preference for certain plants and conditions. But the same molds

can grow on many plants. This is why aflatoxin, for instance, is

found not just in your cereal, bread and pasta but in nuts, maple

syrup, orange juice, vinegar, wine, etc. Where is it not? It is not

in dairy products or fresh fruit and vegetables, provided you

wash the outside. It is not in meat, eggs, and fish. It is not in

water.

Although I find aflatoxin in commercial bread, I do not find it

in carefully screened wheat that has had its discolored, shriveled

seeds removed before using it for making bread, cereals

and noodles. It is not in baked goods bought at bakeries, left open

to air. Evidently the system of wrapping baked goods in plastic

keeps moisture trapped and starts the molding process. In spite of

adding mold inhibitors, American bread-stuff is far inferior to

Mexican baked goods in which I do not find aflatoxin!

Here is some good news for cooks: if you bake it yourself,

adding a bit of vitamin C to the dough, your breads will be mold

free for an extended period (and rise higher).



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