07 May Mold, Mycotoxins and Produce: How and When it Gets in our Food Before Consumption
Have you ever thought about what it takes to get food from the farm to your plate? What steps — and the health hazards within each of them — are necessary to grow, harvest, wash, store, transport, and sell food that ends up in your home?
The process is long, arduous, and full of moments where if proper handling and preparation aren’t taken into account, dangerous molds can thrive on certain foods. While the FDA identified recommended maximum mycotoxin levels that FDA considers adequate to protect human health and does some random sampling to verify compliance with these levels, it can’t catch everything. Furthermore, these levels are up to 5 times higher compared to what other countries, e.g. the European Union, consider a safe level.
Toxic mold spores are the most dangerous aspect of mold, but there are also some byproducts or metabolites of mold, known as mycotoxins. As the word “toxin” already implies, these substances can cause serious effects as well.
How Food Gets to Our Tables
There are many ways for mold and mycotoxins to enter the body, and there are many places where mold likes to grow, chief among them in the food we eat. So, let’s take a look at how food gets to our plate, and where there are areas of concern for mold and mycotoxins to thrive.
Planting: The need for healthy soil, devoid of dangerous toxins, is a crucial first step in growing food. Planting seeds in bad soil leads to bad results, and weak crops are more susceptible to molds.
Growing season: Once planted, crops need to be nurtured with pesticides and other preventative measures to ensure an environment perfect for molds and diseases isn’t created. High levels of mycotoxins are associated with hot and dry weather, followed by periods of high humidity. Growing is the most important step for producing a large haul of quality produce.
Picking, washing, and storing: This is the most important aspect of the process when it comes to avoiding — or encouraging — molds to grow or to carry over mycotoxins and mold that already developed in the field into the food chain. Once picked, the produce must be properly washed (and dried!) as mold needs moisture to thrive. This means wherever the produce is stored has to be free of warm, moist air otherwise dangerous molds can begin to flourish.
Packaging and transport: At this point, the produce has been looked over by several auditors to (hopefully) ensure the bad produce isn’t mixed with the good. The phrase “one bad apple spoils the bunch” comes to mind during this phase. If food isn’t properly packaged and transported timely, the likelihood of mold growing on the produce before we get it home increases greatly.
Take Preventative Steps to Help Remove Mycotoxins
As you can see, before we have a chance to prepare and consume produce it must go through several important steps where if a mistake is made, mold can find an opening to grow.
The chance for mold to grow on or within the food we eat isn’t something to take lightly, especially if we keep in mind that the byproducts, the mycotoxins, are highly stable and cannot simply be destroyed or removed by washing – not even by cooking produce!
The good news is you can take preventative steps to mitigate exposure to ingested dangerous mycotoxins. G-Pur® harnesses the power of natural zeolites to collect mycotoxins found in the digestive tract and naturally expels them. As a purified clinoptilolite, G-Pur® is an easy-to-use dietary supplement that helps to prevent absorption of mold toxins, toxic heavy metals, and dietary cholesterol from food and water you consume.*
Try G-Pur® today to defend your body against ingested mold and its dangerous mycotoxins!*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.