Mould or Mold is a part of the Fungi Kingdom. Yes, so all Molds are Fungi.
Not to be confused with Slime Molds which are not Molds, and also slime molds are not Fungi.
Mold nor Fungi aren’t inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Some Molds help us to develop Lifesaving medication like Penicillin or great tasting cheese like Bleu Cheese. I mean, have you ever wondered why the bleu Cheese was Blue? Turns out, It’s due to mold.
Both Penicillin and the ‘Blue’ in Bleu cheese come from the same mold, Penicillium.
The Rind on some cheeses like Brie is actually mold itself. Not all Cheese is fermented with mold, but some are. Yeast and fungi can act like bacterial yogurt in fermenting milk to create many cheeses. Cheese itself, however, is not mold, nor is it bacteria.
The majority of our commercial citric acid comes from a specific mold called Aspergillus Niger. Which, depending on the exact process, could actually be harmful for human consumption due to mycotoxins. But that’s up for debate and the science isn’t exactly settled on whether commercial citric acid is or isn’t harmful.
A look at the word Mycotoxin
Mycotoxins are the things that make molds dangerous, as well as some mushrooms.
The prefix ‘Myco-‘ relates to ‘fungi’, so the word ‘mycotoxin’ means something to the effect of ‘poison of fungi’.
And I’m not here to defend the use of toxins or whatnot. But as the saying goes, it’s the dose that makes the poison.
Mold also have hyphae
The Mycelium or Hyphae are the long threads that Fungi have to sort of sense their surroundings as well as receive or send nutrients through. The Mycelium is essentially the tiny cells that make up the fungi itself.
Mold, like the common black mold, have these filamentous hypha or hyphae.
Have you seen ‘hair’ like substance grow on mold? That’s the Hyphae.
Ever left some chocolate fudge out for too long and it grew that nasty white stuff? That’s mold, and the hair is the hyphae.
Mold is all around us
I’m terribly sorry if you’re a germaphobe, moldophobe, or fungiphobe. But as it turns out, there’s a ton of mold spores dormant circulating in our air. Chances are, you’re breathing a bunch of mold spores throughout the day. Probably even as you read this.
All that the spores need to ‘activate’ and ‘awake’ is a little moisture and something to feed off of to grow.
On the bright side, most of our immune system works to help combat invasive and harmful pathogens, that includes molds and bacteria hitching a ride on airborne water particulates.
There was a small science project performed by Insider in which they left an Agar petri dish out to collect mold in a room. They then grew the mold in the agar to find a lot of different types of mold. Possibly bacteria too if we’re being honest.
In fact, you could take a cotton swab of something and rub it off on an agar and grow your own bacteria or mold samples. Typically the fuzzy ones will be mold.
If you have the eye for it, you might find little tiny growths of mold anywhere there’s enough moisture and enough nutrients. Take a good look at any corners, perhaps the grout in the showers and such. Use some vinegar-water-mix to help clean mold as needed.
Speaking of, this is also why it’s dangerous to have water trapped in your lungs. Because the water in your lungs can create a climate or environment for mold growth resulting in a non-bacterial upper respiratory infections. One such infection is called Aspergillosis. Mold allergies is referred as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). The Fungal pneumonia can be treated with antifungal drugs and other treatments.
So do keep your health in check by avoiding water in your lungs, keeping things clean, and keeping your air clean. It should help you in the long run.
Thanks for reading,
Mold is Fungi, and there are good fungi as there are bad fungi. It’s only ever bad when there’s too much fungi or the fungi is in places where your body doesn’t want them to be. That’s typically when the Fungi are bad.
I plan on eating more blue cheese and enjoying life. It’s common for a lot of European cultures to ‘air out’ the house by opening doors and windows. It’s a “breath of fresh air”.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment down below. If you have any advice on how to live combat mold in the air, feel free to share down below.
There’s a whole can of worms that can be opened up with the discussion around commercial Citric Acid, and there’s valid points to be made on both sides. It’s a pretty deep rabbit hole. Regardless, thanks for reading.