The Real Threat of a Fungus in Our Flour

In the hit HBO series The Last of Us, the world is devastated by the parasitic Cordyceps fungus, which infected flour and has mutated to turn humans into zombies. The genus Cordyceps really does turn its host into zombies, but only attacks insects. Does that means we are safe from fungus in our pancakes? Well, yes and no.  

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There are many funguses (or fungi for Latin readers) that will infect crops of wheat or other grains. Some can make people very sick, either from the fungus itself or from the toxins that the fungus produces. The most familiar of these is ergot, which infects rye and may have produced hallucinations that contributed to a breakout of “witchcraft” in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692.

Wheat producers go to great lengths to fight fungus in our food, but there is always a chance that dry flour contains some fungus. The good news is that it is destroyed when that flour is cooked. The bad news is that fungus can still infect food after it is cooked. Read the real story of fungal infections in flour at The Conversation. -via Geeks Are Sexy

Source: neatorama

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