If you did not pay attention in Biology class then you are probably thinking that I had some fancy flavored bread at a five-star restaurant served with cheese and caviar on the side. Well, you are mistaken because I actually ate bread that had mould on it and not the kind that is spread out like peanut butter or jam so you can quit cringing your face in disgust.

On the 25th of March I got off the matatu from class and as usual like most of us do in the evening, decided to pass by the local supermarket and buy some bread for the next day’s breakfast.

Bread was the last thing I bought along with other items and everything was hanky dory but the moment I got home and unpacked the shopping is when I noticed my greatest folly; I had not checked the expiration date on the bread!

I took a sigh of relief after seeing that it was on the 27th; lady luck was smiling down on me as it so happened the bread was 400gms and I was not going to eat it alone.

I had my uncle to lend me a hand. I figured I would make some toast cutting the bread in half or less and what was left could be finished by the 28th latest. Crisis averted! or so I thought.

On the 28th I took my breakfast as is my custom, left for class and had no qualms for the whole day. When I got back home in the evening my stomach was still fine.

Thankfully due to my uncle’s keen eye for detail he informed me that he threw away the bread because some mould has started growing on it just a little on the edge. Of course, I was shocked and scared because I had consumed two slices; I started becoming mentally prepared to endure some spouts of diarrhea for the whole night. Thankfully lady luck still had a thing for me and I slept well.

So What is Mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found almost everywhere. Their colors can vary from black, white, orange, green to purple.

As I am accustomed to doing every other time I Googled to see if my “little incident” had any lasting side effects. According to research, there are hundreds of thousands of moulds (mine was blue the most common one) that cause allergies and respiratory problems; in some cases, they produce mycotoxins that make people and animals sick.

Is it okay for you to trim off the mould and continue nibbling away? The answer is NO! The simple answer to this is that trimming the parts that you think have mould is not as easy as it appears. This is because that has visible spores on the outside have a network of microscopic roots that are invisible to the naked eye. While trimming appears a good solution, you may be feasting on the same mould unknowingly.

My two cents from this experience is simple; before purchasing bread or any other highly perishable foods please make sure that you check the expiration date because moulds grow faster than you can imagine, in my case a day after. 

Ensure you are buying fresh foods to avoid falling into my trap. Where possible, always refrigerate your food and ensure it is clean. If not, do not store food for far too long.

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