An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works.
Learn more about Karen...
Maybe this has happened to you before: you open your breadbox and are ready to grab a slice of bread when you realize that there are fuzzy spots all over the loaf. You know instantly that mold is growing on your bread and it seems like such a waste, especially if you haven't had a chance to use very much of the loaf.
One question you might wonder about is whether or not the mold on bread is actually harmful to consume. After all, it seems like it would be easy enough to just scrape off the fuzzy parts and use the bread anyway.
First of all, you need to understand what mold is and how it ends up on your loaf of bread. Mold, which is a fungus, grows best in moist, dark, warm conditions. As it happens, this makes bread a pretty good place for mold to grow. The mold spores were likely already on your bread when you bought it, since mold spores are everywhere. So even though your loaf of bread has been kept in a sealed bag, mold can grow because the spores were there already and now have a good environment in which to grow.
Mold growth also depends on the bread itself. For example, breads that were made with preservatives will grow mold more slowly than bread without it. Also, bread with a higher water content will be more likely to grow mold faster.
There are different types of mold that you might find on bread, and these molds can be different colors and vary in appearance. Usually mold appears as a fuzz that shows up in spots or sections at first.
Some kinds of mold are actually not harmful, and might not hurt you if you consume them. There is, however, the chance that the mold growing on your bread could make you sick. Mold found on bread and other foods can cause you to experience nausea, vomiting or allergic reactions, and some mold is toxic and could do serious harm to you.
The safest bet when it comes to bread mold is to just resist the temptation to scrape the mold off. If you find mold on your bread, just throw it in the garbage. Although it may seem like a waste to throw the bread away with only a little mold, it is much better to be safe than sorry.
To avoid mold growing on your bread, you need to try freezing or refrigerating your loaf in order to extend its life.