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Thread: Food spoilage

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    Default Food spoilage

    How can you tell if food has gone bad? I'm going by the fuzz indicator. If there isn't fuzz growing on it... i'll eat it. In my experience, even if the food smells really bad... it's still edible if you microwave it. I usually feel fine after. My fuzz theory was shattered today when I ate a month-old apple that looked and smelt perfectly fine. I thought it was still good... but my stomach didn't agree, so we ended up arguing in the bathroom for quite awhile.

    Any ideas? No one's really taugh me how to check for spoilage and the internet sites don't seem to be accurate either. I.e. they usually say cooked food is only good for 2-3 days when I've eaten month-old food and still felt fine after. So basically I've been fumbling in the dark and working with trial-by-error. I think it might be more efficient if I just asked here, and save my stomach some trouble.

    Btw, for those who still live at home... enjoy it while you can! You'll be in my shoes soon enough (starring at left-overs while both hungry and lazy.)

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    I usually go by looks, smell, and taste. But sometimes it's just plain text that scares me like when it is expired and it already passed since I'm scared that I will get like food poisoning or a stomach virus if I eat it. Having food poisoning on vacation was not pleasant.

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    Anything that dont look funny, dont smell funny, or dont taste funny goes right down the tummy

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    interesting question. i usually stop eating something when they either look or smell funny, or when they have been in the fridge for say.. 4-5 days or so. i don't usually do that though, i prefer fresh food.

    i think it also depends on the food. i'd never drink milk that has been opened and left in the fridge for more than 3 days. but i'd probably down a cake or something that has been there for a few weeks.

    i know what you mean, esp when it is so cold up where you are, there's really little incentive to go out and get some real food. when i used to bike a lot, i normally have a box or two of powerbars at home and sometimes i would just eat those for a meal.

    those instant lunch boxes are also pretty good, buy a bunch of those in put them in the freezer, but only use them as a last resort...

    right now, i am eating some leftover lasagna from tuesday.

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    Default Re: Food spoilage

    Originally posted by bigredlemon
    How can you tell if food has gone bad? I'm going by the fuzz indicator. If there isn't fuzz growing on it... i'll eat it. In my experience, even if the food smells really bad... it's still edible if you microwave it. I usually feel fine after. My fuzz theory was shattered today when I ate a month-old apple that looked and smelt perfectly fine. I thought it was still good... but my stomach didn't agree, so we ended up arguing in the bathroom for quite awhile.

    Any ideas? No one's really taugh me how to check for spoilage and the internet sites don't seem to be accurate either. I.e. they usually say cooked food is only good for 2-3 days when I've eaten month-old food and still felt fine after. So basically I've been fumbling in the dark and working with trial-by-error. I think it might be more efficient if I just asked here, and save my stomach some trouble.

    Btw, for those who still live at home... enjoy it while you can! You'll be in my shoes soon enough (starring at left-overs while both hungry and lazy.)
    BRL, u should not use the fuzz as your only guidance of foods going bad, there are many more nasty things u can't see. The fuzz is the least harmful of the food poisoning substance. Certain fuzzes are actually good.
    Last edited by cooler; 03-06-2003 at 03:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Re: Food spoilage

    Originally posted by cooler
    The fuzz is the least harmful of the food poisoning substance. Certain fuzzes are actually good.
    i gotta tell my gf that!

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    Default Re: Re: Food spoilage

    Originally posted by cooler
    BRL, u should not use the fuzz as your only guidance of foods going bad, there are many more nasty things u can't see. The fuzz is the least harmful of the food poisoning substance. Certain fuzzes are actually good.
    Yep fuzzy peaches = good candy

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    Default Re: Re: Food spoilage

    Originally posted by cooler
    BRL, u should not use the fuzz as your only guidance of foods going bad, there are many more nasty things u can't see. The fuzz is the least harmful of the food poisoning substance. Certain fuzzes are actually good.
    Yeah, like penicillin comes from a fuzz.

    month old apple. Hmm, Although you can kill the bacteria by microwave, one problem is you don;t get rid of the toxins that the bacteria have produced. Not sure if these toxins will be broken down into harmless substances by microwave..........so it's probable your intestines were grumbling at the toxins...not the fuzz/bacteria themselves.

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Food spoilage

    Originally posted by Cheung
    Yeah, like penicillin comes from a fuzz.

    month old apple. Hmm, Although you can kill the bacteria by microwave, one problem is you don;t get rid of the toxins that the bacteria have produced. Not sure if these toxins will be broken down into harmless substances by microwave..........so it's probable your intestines were grumbling at the toxins...not the fuzz/bacteria themselves.
    Penicillin comes from bacteria; bacteria exists as a fuzz; eating the penicillin bacteria is not necessarily good nor bad. Or maybe it was a fungus.. i forget. On a related note, I hear the "fake meat" that's made from a fungus really catching on in Europe, despite all the allergic reactions some people have. I hear it taste like chicken!

    As for toxins... I hear most of the stuff bacteria excretes doesn't become toxic until after your body digests it.

    I ate a couple of kiwis that were a few weeks old today. I could actually taste the alcohol! Heh... get drunk off expired fruit . Seriously though I know it's healthy to eat fresh food because they are more nutricious and less toxic, but it's useful to know when food expires because "freshly bought" food might have been sitting in the supermarket for the last month.

    Kwun: I used to have those powerbars too. I once bought a bulk box (500+ bars.) Took me 3 years to finnish those. Great for quick food but not too healthy... especially by the third year .

    Cooler: Many fuzz are good, but the fuzz growing on your food probably isn't edible. Sorry.

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    *sigh* BRL, r u playing gameboy in your biology class

    penicillin come from a specific mold (fuzz), not bacteria. We take penicillin(fuzz) to kill bacteria. That's what i meant when i said some fuzzes are good. Some fuzzes are neutral like mushrooms and tree fungi ( chinese delicacies). Of course, most fuzzes are bad for us. If u find some foods turn slimey, slime is a mold(fuzz) too.

    I think u heard wrong, toxins do not become worst when digested, they are bad as it when u take it. As for your old kiwis, the alcohol and CO2 are byproduct of bacteria in the kiwis. You can consider the ethyl alcohol as toxin but most normal human being can digest some in small quanitity. Microwaves have limited effect on toxin's molecular structure, expecially when using consumer version microwave. It depends on what type of critical molecular bonds, frequency and temp. involved. There is no definition of food expiry, it is dependent on each individual immune system and species. (ex. bubble boy)

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    Originally posted by cooler
    *sigh* BRL, r u playing gameboy in your biology class

    penicillin come from a specific mold (fuzz), not bacteria. We take penicillin(fuzz) to kill bacteria. That's what i meant when i said some fuzzes are good. Some fuzzes are neutral like mushrooms and tree fungi ( chinese delicacies). Of course, most fuzzes are bad for us. If u find some foods turn slimey, slime is a mold(fuzz) too.

    I think u heard wrong, toxins do not become worst when digested, they are bad as it when u take it. As for your old kiwis, the alcohol and CO2 are byproduct of bacteria in the kiwis. You can consider the ethyl alcohol as toxin but most normal human being can digest some in small quanitity. Microwaves have limited effect on toxin's molecular structure, expecially when using consumer version microwave. It depends on what type of critical molecular bonds, frequency and temp. involved. There is no definition of food expiry, it is dependent on each individual immune system and species. (ex. bubble boy)
    I just looked it up and I was right the first time... and you are half right. Penicillin comes from mold true, but the source of that is a fungus. (Certain types of fungi are/produce molds.) The penicilin comes from the penicillum species of fungi.

    Also, toxins can either be better or worse when digested. Digestive enzymes tries to break down toxins to protect us, but they also break down non-toxins into toxins in the same processess. (Modification of this process is how bacteria can "adapt" to most antibacterial agents--they change their metabolism pathways.) Many chemicals and drugs banned are safe itself, and only become lethal when digested (being cleaved enzymes removes the portion that inhibits the toxin's activity, thereby activating it).

    And yes alcohol and by products of bacteria, but so is the sugar in your blood, and I'd consider neither as toxins generally. I wouldnt say a microwave only has limited effects, as many proteins can be broken down at ~200'c. It's just not consistent since a microwave's effects vary greatly depending upon the interference at a given point in the food.

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    Penicillin - discovered by Alexander Fleming. He was growing bacteria in plates when one plate had a growth of fungus. Around it, the bacteria were not growing. Further investigations gave penicillin. Place: St Mary's hospital in London around 1943(?).

    First recipient died. He was given penicillin and actually got better initially but they didn't have the techniques to produce enough or recover it from the patients urine. So they ran out and he died later.

    Sttaphyloccocus Aureus produces a toxin that can react pretty quickly with your stomach. 2-4 hours.

    Some toxins will induce immediate vomiting as a protective mechanism.

    Alcohol is a toxin. Never tried microwaving it though. Bear in mind, if you microwave the beverage, the alcohol content is likely to drop because it boils at somewhere around 60-70 degres celcius. If you microwave it as a product of fruit fermentation with the fruit intact, the alcohol content could conceivably be more static.

    Isn't cheese made from fuzz acting on milk? (I consider milk a food).

    Chinese use a fuzz to produce fermented bean curd popular in chinese porridge or with some vegatables.

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    BRL, *sigh*, of course i knew penicillin belong to the fungi species, i was only conversing with you in layman terms as i saw you first refer them as fuzz to begin with. No, i didn't have to go look it up in the internet either.

    It is dangerous to read brief writeup from the internet or hear from friends if one dun have the understanding of basic principles, expecially when dealing with one's health.

    1. Yes, there are some substance that is benign or neutral in natural state but turn into a toxin after digestion. However, u dun have to worry about those, those are exotic substances, mostly man made, rarely derived naturally. It has little to do with bad foods, where we are dealing with normal natural substance and chemicals, ie, 99% of toxin out there. Please dun use rare substances as your case example.

    2. Alcohol is a toxin, if u drink even enough of it, u'll die. Here, I'm assuming again that u r talking in layman term where I had equated your term 'alcohol' as ethyl alcohol or ethyl hydroxide. There are other alcohols too like wood alcohol, rubbing alcohol, all in layman terms o f course. I'll stop here.

    3. Not all toxins are protein based, many are inorganic, so 200C is nothing to them. Take one extreme example, arsenic, it would take temperatures greater than the sun to decompose it. Toxin is toxic because it is not easy to digest or self decompose. Like cheung said, the body rather reject it than try to digest it. Have u seen people throwing out after a drinking binge? more proof that 'alcohol' is a toxin.

    4. Who told u that sugar in our blood is a by product of bacteria?

    I suggest u reconsider your source(s) of information.
    Last edited by cooler; 03-07-2003 at 03:15 AM.

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    Isn't cheese made from fuzz acting on milk? (I consider milk a food).
    Yah, cheese is made from milk with the help of a fuzz (yeast). Each type of yeast yield different type of texture, color and taste of the cheese. Some even makes lots of byproduct CO2 (swiss cheese).

    I think chinese bean curd is also is a result of yeast working on the soy slurry. I'm not sure if the mold on top of the bean curd is the same fuzz (fungi or yeast) as in the bean curd. I only have sample tasted it twice in my lifetime.

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    If I suspect the food has gone bad, I toss it. Don't want to take the chance and kill myself. Anyway even if the food does not kill a person immediately, it can be carcinogenic and can cause cancer many years later.

    Ron

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    Originally posted by ronk
    If I suspect the food has gone bad, I toss it. Don't want to take the chance and kill myself. Anyway even if the food does not kill a person immediately, it can be carcinogenic and can cause cancer many years later.

    Ron
    Yea.. but here's a short list of things that also cause cancer:

    light
    darkness
    caffine
    unfiltered outdoor air
    meat
    grains (ok, indirectly, but still!)
    lack of sleep

    If you aren't going to eat the allegedly spoiled food, then you have to go outside in the light/darkness (!) and breath outdoor air (!) to buy food, come back, and re-cook etc which takes time away from sleeping (!). You just added 3 times more carcinogenic factors to your list. I suspect in the end, it balances out with respect to net carcinogenic effect, and you may as well enjoy the laziness.

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    Speaking of food spoilage... yesterday I shoved a moldy chocolate into my mouth (I didn't know it was moldy at that time cuz I thought the white stuff over it was just powered sugar ><) it tasted ok so I swallowed it...

    My mom yelled at me later for doing that(the chocolate had already been sitting in the fridge for about 2 months... haha... but it was unopend), but o well, the chocolate tasted good and I'm still nice n healthy

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