The following article is editorial opinion piece derived from US Government studies and associated agengies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institue of Environmental Health Sciences, and various private organizations related to mold and mold allergy study. Read it for what it is, an editorial.
Whether you know it or not this really is the big question when you are dealing with mold. Either you will have are allergic reaction to it or you are do not. To summarize a mold seminar that was given to a Safety Director I know. He told me that after all the statistics and all of the medical evidence. In the end there are thousands of types of molds. Each person is normally only allergic to one of them. If they have an adverse reaction at all.
This should serve as good news to you. Knowing that the odds are you will not have a problem. This makes sense after all because there are so many foods that the majority of society eats that contain mold. Clearly if there was a common adverse reaction then these foods would not be popular. It seems like a ridiculous point to make. It needs to be said, and possibly repeatedly. This is because of all the “hype” and “fear” that surrounds the issue of mold.
Are We Complicating The Issue?
That may be an over simplification but did you ever wonder what purpose of this stuff is anyway? I mean why is it here and why does it even exist and grow? The reason is that it is a primary way that the environment takes back material into its system.What is meant by that is that when something is alive it grows and functions for a purpose. Then when it dies mold comes in and breaks it down back into the earth. So if I am an animal or a plant, after I die am returned to the environment through many processes one of which is because I will be taken and broken down by mildew.Not pleasant is it? To think that if you die and if you are wet or damp you will be attacked by this micro-organism and digested and then returned back to the dust that you were created from.
What About The Mold In Foods?
Have you ever seen it growing on cheese or an apple? That is what it is doing. It is breaking the item down back into basic nutrients and elements for the environment to re use for another living thing. Quite fascinating really.This brings us to the fact that many people have an adverse reaction to it even while alive. Not that they will be infested but quite simply they cannot be around it because they have a specific negative reaction to being around it.These symptoms include itchy watery eyes, stuffy congested head, congested sinuses, and sometimes even skin irritations. These are some of the adverse reactions that some people have. While some people have these reactions while accidentally ingesting mold others have these reactions when they are near it such as in an old moldy home. It all depends on the type of mold that is present and the specific mold allergy of the person.
Why Not Eliminate Exposure?
While it may not be possible to eliminate all exposure to it, it is possible to avoid the purposeful eating of foods that naturally contain it. This includes truffles, cheese, vinegar and all foods that use these ingredients. Of course these foods are supposed to have it in them. It is what they are made from.But what about foods that do not have it as an ingredient? The reality is that you need to check all foods very carefully. I know that it is common for people to advise that you should smell any food prior to eating. This normally is good advice but if you have a mold allergy is it one of the worst things you can do. The reason is that the spores are carried in the air. This means that if you breathe in the spores it is as bad as eating the food. In other words, be careful what you eat, or breathe.
Are You Taking Away My Fungi Foods?
To review you need to stay away from fungi related foods like mushrooms and truffles. Stay away from cheese and many salad dressings. Feta cheese is now on the bad list as is anything with the word “sour” in it. That includes sour cream. Vinegar based foods like ketchup and peppers stored in vinegar. Yeast is commonly associated with mold so you also need to include breads and other things made with yeast as an ingredient. Anything pickled like ham, meat, or cucumbers is no longer acceptable. As is many types of Chinese food sauces. Dried plums and other types of dehydrated fruits are now “off-limits”. The list goes on and on.So the key is to determine if you are really allergic to mold. If you are then try to determine the types of mold. Maybe you can add some of these foods to your list.
Why Is It My Problem?
Now that we covered the basics of a simple mold allergy let answer the question of why so many people have sever adverse reactions? The reason is that many times the reaction is a result of exposure to multiple other unhealthy elements. For example, if one lives in a home with a severe mold problem. It may not be that they would have the same reaction if they were exposed to a small quantity. But if that person lives in a home with a severe infestation. Then they are breathing high volumes of spores. This is unhealthy for anyone. Not to mention that there are oftentimes other causes and unhealthy elements in homes with infestations. Where we find one, we usually find the other.In the end a mold allergy may be specific to small amounts or may be indicative of an overall unhealthy environment. It may be that what is being blamed on one thing is actually another. It is also important to note that it is not common to have a bad reaction. It is in fact rare. It is also rare to have a problem with the particular mold type you are being exposed to.It is not proven but it is becoming more accepted that even if you have a problem with one type of spore. You may not have a problem with the type of spore you have been exposed to. This has been said repeatedly in this article. The reason for this is that it is the most important thing to remember. Not all molds are equal nor are all allergies.