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Edible Molds

Can Molds Be Edible?

There are hundreds of thousands of edible species of fungi, thousands of which are regularly harvested for mass consumption.

Some species of fungi are very highly priced and sought after for the fact that they cannot be cultivated and are often harvested from there natural settings.

Most Commonly Consumed

Here is a list of a few of the most commonly consumed fungi:

    • Agaricus Bisporus

Agaricus bisporus is most commonly known as the button mushroom.

This species of fungus is the most extensively cultivated mushroom in the world. Button mushrooms take up 38% of the world’s production of cultivated mushrooms.

    • Pleurotus

The pleurotus species is also known as the ‘oyster mushroom.’ This species of mushroom takes the second spot for the most produced mushroom in the world.

It holds a whopping 25% of the total world production of cultivated mushrooms. Pleurotus mushrooms are found world-wide but China is the major producer of this edible fungi.

    • Volvariella Volvacea

Volvariella volvacea is also known as the ‘Paddy straw’ mushroom.

Paddy straw mushrooms have a 16% hold on the total production of cultivated mushrooms in the world.

    • Lentinus Edodes

Lentinus edodes is largely produced in Japan, China and South Korea. They are also known as shiitake or oak mushrooms. Lentinus edodes accounts for at least 10% of the world production in cultivated mushrooms.

    • Boletus Edulis

Boletus edulis is often called Porcini. Other names for it are King Bolete, Cep, and Steinpilz. Porcini is renowned for its nutty flavor. It is sought after worldwide, and can be found in a variety of culinary dishes.

    • The Truffle

The Truffle, Tuber magnatum or Piemont white truffle, is also called a Summer or St. Jean truffle, and sometimes Tuber brumale. Truffles belong to the ascomycete grouping of fungi.

The truffle fruit bodies are developed underground in mycorrhizal and are associated with more popular trees such as poplar, beech, and hazel.

Interesting Note

Since truffles are difficult to find, trained pigs or dogs are often used to sniff them out for harvesting!

Amazing! And these are only some of the most common edible fungi on our planet!

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Can Mold Be Good?

What is Mold and How Can It Be Good?

A mold of fungus is an organism that survives on almost any material; it digests its food externally and absorbs the nutrient molecules into its cells.

With the onslaught of publicity about molds that threaten human health, we now fear molds and destroy them on sight, which is very understandable since its our well-being that were just looking out for.

But what we have forgotten is that molds have good uses too.

What Happens if there Is No Mold?

The first and most important role of fungi is that without it, we would have piles of trash everywhere because fungi get food from our trash.

They eat the trash and make it into soil. They are the first and natural garbage dispensers.

What is Yeast?

Fungi are very important if you view their good use. Yeasts, for one, are responsible for fermentation.

Fermentation is the process used in making the beer that you enjoy drinking, Saccharomyces cereviseae, is a special yeast that is used in making the alcohol needed in this process.

The same fungus is used in most of the bread that you eat, without it, you’ll be eating flat bread.

What are Mushrooms?

Mushroom is a form of fungus. In many countries, mushroom farming is a very big industry.

The biggest role of Fungi is probably that it acts as the primary decomposers of dead plant and animal matter in almost all ecosystems.

That’s why we commonly see molds on old bread. So you see that many molds have good uses too.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Mold Colony

10 Health Risks of Toxic Mold

Are you Living in an Area with Risks of Toxic Mold?

If you are living in an area where the relative humidity is above 55%, you are very much liable to health risks caused by toxic molds. Black Mold, also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum. Stachybotrys Chartarum is a greenish-black fungi found worldwide that colonizes particularly well in high-cellulose material such as straw, hay, wet leaves, dry wall, carpet, wall paper, fiber-board, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, etc. The fungus, before drying, is wet and slightly slimy to touch. Stachybotrys is considered a toxic mold and is one of the major health risk providers.

Species of Black Mold

There are about fifteen species of Stachybotrys worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, this type of fungus does not grow on plastic, vinyl, concrete products, or ceramic tiles. Neither is it found in the green mold on bread or in the black mold on shower tiles. The toxic mold environmental risk may be one of the next major real estate due diligence concerns, especially in property development areas where major flooding has occurred. The problem is that the existence of toxic molds not only includes residential and commercial area flood incidents, but also numerous minor water releases due to plumbing failures, conductive condensation, house water leaks and accidents. The toxic mold concern could also be a problem where fires have occurred on residential properties. For some people, exposure to the toxic mold spores may stay just a “risk”. To others, it may be a real health hazard, with life-threatening results.

Health Risk or Health Hazard?

Whether a potential liability concern is just health risk or a major hazard, there will be paramount in defining the critical level of due diligence and disclosure response by responsible parties. There are already several major lawsuits concerning toxic mold exposure in residential and commercial buildings throughout the United States.

The 10 most common health risks associated with toxic mold are:

1. pulmonary hemorrhage or pulmonary hemosiderosis (primarily in infants)

2. nose bleeds

3. immune system suppression (resulting in increasing numbers of infections)

4. hair loss

5. dermatitis

6. chronic fatigue

7. psychological depression

8. diarrhea

9. sore throats

10. headaches and other flu-like symptoms

Can All Toxic Mold Be Eliminated?

One of the major concerns that many experts have is that one might not be able to permanently eliminate ALL of the toxic mold from a structure. There also remains a great propensity for future reoccurrence. It is therefore recommended that great care be exercised to remove and dispose of all products that have been contaminated by the toxic mold. Another concern is that state’s Health Departments will consider ambiguous and genetic disposition as a response to the inquiries about toxic mold that is made by the public. There will be some people, especially children, which will exhibit more adverse reactions than other persons exposed to the toxic mold. Some of these reactions will include death, lung tissue damage and memory loss. This may also depend on the chemical sensitivity, genetic disposition, and predisposing health history. Currently, most health organizations consider exposure to toxic mold a health risk and hazard. Keep in mind that most responses leading to testing, investigations, and abatement of the toxic mold are due directly to occupant complaints or documented detrimental health effects.

Liability Concerns

Toxic molds may even evolve to a point where it is regarded with the same cautions, response and liability concerns as those attributed to lead-base paint and asbestos. Health hazards and risks associated with concern to exposure to these types of mold are currently considered as short-term effects as opposed to exposure to radon gas in houses, which is considered a long-term health risk. The Stachybotrys fungi cannot be identified by a routine visual inspection. All black molds are not necessarily Stachybotrys. It could be non-toxic black mold. The only method to determine the type of mold present is by sample analysis by an accredited laboratory. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the mold is only a toxic risk or hazard if a person breathes or comes into contact with the spores. Wet mold is not an indoor air quality health risk, but there is a significant potential for the mold to dry and released into the air. Be wary of continuous health problems you might be having. If you cannot find the cause of these problems, chances are they are not really that visible to the eyes. Toxic molds can be as risky to your health as any other environmental factors.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Mold Illness – $76, 000

Why is It so Hard to Find Winning Cases Against Mold?

Mold cases that have won are very difficult to find.

The reason for this, is that it is very difficult to prove health deficiencies were caused by mold, and not reoccurring from the past.

In this case, the mold was beaten by two fireman and their families.

“This was never primarily about the money,” Nashville attorney John Norris said. “Firefighters put their lives on the line for the rest of us, and they expect and are entitled to a safe workplace.”

Read the rest of the story with Mold Affects Firefighters

Story source : Mold-Help

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Potential Signs of Mold Contamination

Check Your Home for Mold – What Am I Looking For?

Here are a few Mold signs that you may need to check your house for. It doesn’t matter if your house is brand new, or a hundred years old, you can never be too sure!

Look For :

  • Stained ceiling tiles (you may be very surprised as to what may be growing underneath) or walls.
  • Black, brown, orange, pink, or green speckled walls or around any plumbing grout or tile.
  • Musty, earthy, or urine scented odor.
  • Leaky roof or flashing installed improperly.
  • Flood or hurricane damage.
  • Leaky window or door.

Here are a few from the list of Contributing factors of mold :

Look For :

    • Leaky door or unseated windows that have broken seals.
    • Plumbing leak/inferior plumbing job.

* Lumber is one of the worst problems. That is why the United States is the most insidious in the world on record for mold problems!

For the rest of these helpful tips visit Signs of Mold

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source: Mold-Help.org

Mold Survey.. Interesting

A mold survey was given to see how many people in a particular area dealt with mold related issues.. these are the results :

“In April 2005, the Mold Committee of the Tenants Association conducted a survey on the presence of mold and its effects on residents. They received a total of 184 completed surveys.

1. Do you have any visible mold in your apartment?

* Yes: 48.37% total, 42% Storke I, 63% Storke II, 47% West

2. Do you detect the odor of mold (musty smell) in your apartment?

* Yes: 39.13% total, 53 % Storke I, 54% Storke II, 19% West

3. Where in your apartment does mold tend to grow?

* Bathroom and/or kitchen: 37% total, 28% Storke I, 37% Storke II, 46% West
* Windows and/or doors: 30% total, 32% Storke I, 43% Storke II, 22% West
* Carpets and/or floors: 5% total, 8% Storke I, 9% Storke II, 1% West
* Walls and/or ceilings: 13% total, 20% Storke I, 17% Storke II, 5% West
* Closets: 5% total, 4% Storke I, 11% Storke II, 3% West

4. Has any of your personal property been damaged by mold?

* Yes: 18% total, 20% Storke I, 31% Storke II, 10% West

5. What is the estimated value of property damage?

* Greatest amount for one resident: $800, Total for Storke I: $2400, Total for Storke II: $920, Total for West: $695

6. Do you regularly use a dehumidifier in your home?

* Yes: 8.7% total, 8% Storke I, 26% Storke II, 1% West

7. What other interventions have you used to treat mold in your home?

* Bleach: 19% total
* General Household Cleaners: 30% total
* Air Filters: 5% total
* Ventilation: 19%
* Previous move within FSH because of mold: 1.63% (3 residents)

8. Do any of your family members suffer from any of the following health complaints since moving into Family Student Housing?

* Respiratory problems- wheezing, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath: 24.5% total, 34% Storke I, 37% Storke II, 10% West
* Nasal and sinus congestion: 47% total, 63% Storke I, 57% Storke II, 27% West
* Eyes burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity: 20% total, 18% Storke I, 28% Storke II, 18% West
* Dry, hacking cough: 20% total, 27% Storke I, 26% Storke II, 10% West
* Sore throat: 27% total, 33% Storke I, 31% Storke II, 20% West
* Nose and throat irritation: 30% total, 38% Storke I, 29% Storke II, 24% West
* Infection or lung disease: 4% total, 10% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 1% West
* Chronic fatigue: 16% total, 20% Storke I, 14% Storke II, 13% West
* Skin irritation: 13% total, 15% Storke I, 6% Storke II, 14% West
* Central nervous system problems (constant headaches, loss of memory, and mood changes): 5% total, 7% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 6% West
* Aches and pains: 7% total, 11% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 6% West
* Fever: 3% total, 3% Storke I, 0% Storke II, 5% West
* Headaches: 24.5% total, 27% Storke I, 40% Storke II, 15% West
* Diarrhea: 6% total, 8.5% Storke I, 3% Storke II, 5% West
* Immune suppression: 9% total, 13% Storke I, 6% Storke II, 8% West

9. Do any of these problems disappear or decrease when the affected family member(s) leave(s) home?

* Yes: 37.5% total, 45% Storke I, 51% Storke II, 24% West

 

10. Have you contact housing officials regarding the mold?

* Yes: 17% total, 23% Storke I, 29% Storke II, 8% West

11. What was the response of housing officials to your notification?

* Cleaned the mold: 4% total
* Removed/replaced carpet: .5% total
* Repairs for water intrustion: 3.2% total
* Loaned dehumidifier: 4% total
* Evaluation of some kind: 4.9%

12. Were/are you satisfied with this response?

* Yes: 6% total, 7% Storke I, 11% Storke II, 3% West
* No: 10% total, 14% Storke I, 14% Storke II, 4% West”

Source : Mold Survey

Mold Claims

Effects of Mold Exposure

Exposure to mold can cause itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and other allergy symptoms in people with such reactions. For deadlier effects however, there is no proof.

Though, “Toxic Mold” is responsible for releasing something called mycotoxins, which has been said to cause such things as asthma, heart damage, and loss of memory.

The worst of these suspected toxic molds is stachybotrys chartarum, a variety of black mold that requires nearly constant moisture.

Although Trial Lawyers Inc. tries to prove such, medical science still strives to prove the connection between toxic mold and serious health illnesses.

Who Has a Higher Risk?

Patients with chronic respiratory diseases have a higher risk in mold touched environments. Acknowledging this, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that the following is the current state of science on “toxic” mold:

“There are very few case reports that toxic molds (those containing certain mycotoxins) inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss.

These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxic mold and these conditions has not been proven.”

Mold Panic

The mold panic was started mostly back in 1994 and 1997 when the US Centers for Disease Control illegedly found a connection between the toxic mold breed stachybotrys chartarum and health illnesses in infants found in Cleveland.

However, in the year 2000, the CDC decided against former methodology, and retracted earlier reports.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source : Trial Lawyers Inc. 2003

How does Mold Get into your Home?

What can Increase the Risk of Mold Growth?

Interestingly enough, the more people in your home, the higher your risks of mold growing there. The reason for this, is because we release a lot of moisture into the air when we breathe.

Also, things such as long hot showers, cooking with uncovered pots, drying clothes on an indoor clothesline, and use of humidifiers, contribute to placing moisture into the air.

Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and keeping many vegetables like potatoes and squash can create a mold problem too.

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

Not only does Mold need that moisture, but also food sources too. By food sources I mean materials they live on.

Food sources such as drywall, wood, insulation, cardboard and paper, as well as, invisible bio-film on hard surfaces, carpet backing, wallpaper adhesive, many fabrics, leather, and especially house dust are mold havens for such spores.

Can We Live in a Mold Free World?

Mold is ever present, we cannot expect to live in a mold free world. However, mold is not a problem most of the time, until you can see or smell it, or if you are having ill affects that are not normally present in your home.

This is when a call to action is needed. Delay in these matters will worsen the problem at hand.

Always remember, when Mold is an issue.. Deal with it promptly, do not wait.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source : About Mold

mold test

Are Do-it-yourself Mold Tests Better than Professionals?

Development of Mold Symptoms

Holly Kestinis was worried about her 8 yr old son because of his recently developed head aches. After a series of consecutive complaints about his head hurting, Holly found that she too was beginning to have severe pain head aches which she had never had before.

Ask a Mold Specialist

Realizing she had to do something about the newly devoloped , Holly called the local mold inspector to have her house examined.

Within the next couple of days Tim Glisson arrived to do a routine check. After a couple of red flags were sent up, he decided to run a few tests to see if the mold found was extremely harmful.

Testing for Mold

Tim collected a few samples and then was asked to compare the Do-it-yourself tests to a professional mold inspection. Tim agreed and followed the directions. Setting out the plate in the mold affected area to wait, Tim finished his tests within a few hours and took them back to the lab. Meanwhile, the do-it-yourself test would take a full 48 hours to finish.

Compare Test Results

Two weeks later Tim was back with his results and the do-it-yourself results to compare. The do-it-yourself detected two mold breeds while the professional lab detected three.

Do-It-Yourself Mold Tests or Professional Tests?

So while the kit detected only two breeds of mold and Tim’s tests found three, both agreed that Holly’s mold was not toxic… yet. To deal with the issue at hand, Tim gave Holly the instructions to have her ducts cleaned, and replace the drywall ceiling in the bathroom. He also advised her to add a ventilation vent in the bathroom.

In this case, Professionally done mold inspections work the best by being faster, and more efficient, detecting all breeds of mold, not just two, though they both agreed none of the mold was toxic.

Further Recommended Reading

Source : Tampa Bay’s 10 News

6 Easy Mold Prevention Tips

Mold Prevention

Preventing mold is the key way to avoid having to deal with mold at all.

Here are six important tips to help you prevent mold :

    • Dehumidification System

Consider air conditioning possible augmented with a dehumidification system.

These systems pull the moisture from the building thus minimizing growth by depriving mold of one of its nutrients.

    • Use Caution

Use caution when you turning your air conditioning off. In humid climates, extended periods of non-operation of HVAC equipment may allow humidity levels to become quite high in buildings.

These periods can permit mold to gain a foothold in the building and thrive.

    • Installation

Install insulation and vapor barriers to prevent condensation on cold objects such as water pipes,beams,and plumbing fixtures.

    • Avoid Standing Water

Keep sinks, showers, tubs and other wet areas free of standing water.

    • Review Applications

Demand architectural,design,and construction applications that prevent water from entering the interior.

Areas of concern include improperly pitched roofs,poorly designed balconies,win- dows,doors,improperly installed flashing, vapor barriers,and thin stucco.

    • Maintain Structure Regularly

Maintain the integrity of building envelope through regular inspections, caulking,roof flashing,and sealing of the buildings exterior.

Further Recommended Reading:

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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How To Know if Mold is “Good” or “Bad”

What Is Mold?

  • Mold is a fungus and it grows on plants and fibers.
  • Mold reproduces once it finds a specific area and then creates allergens that irritate many functions of the human body.
  • Mold digests organic matter by releasing spores.

Have you ever noticed the green or black fuzzy stuff that grows on bread or walls? That’s mold!

How do you know if its good mold or bad mold? Is there a difference? Definitely.

What Is the Difference Between Good and Bad Mold?

Not all mold is toxic or “bad,” but indoor mold growth is never good.

All mold can cause health effects to sensitive individuals if left as it naturally grows in your home.

Then, is there such a thing as “good mold?”

There are positive ways mold has been used is a likelier statement.

How has Mold Been Used Positively?

  • The antibiotic, Pennicillin, was derived from mold and has saved many lives from deadly diseases!
  • Mold has been used to age cheeses to the perfection of taste!
  • Mold has even been used to improve the texture of wine!

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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