Why is Blue Cheese Mold Safe to Eat? (Solved!)

It’s a question that gets asked time-and-time again, why is blue cheese mold safe to eat?

When it comes to “normal” cheese you typically know that if mold forms that you’ll need to either cut the mold off or simply throw the cheese away.

But, for some reason, blue cheese is created with mold already on it.

So, what makes blue cheese so special?

In this article I’d like to reveal the exact reasons why blue cheese mold is safe to eat.

The main reason that blue cheese mold is safe to eat is because it comes from the same family as antibiotic Penicillin. Blue cheese typically contains Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum, which are not dangerous to humans and do not produce toxins themselves. These penicillin varieties are what give blue cheese its distinctive taste and texture.

1. Can Blue Cheese Mold Make You Sick?

No, blue cheese mold won’t make you sick and it is perfectly safe for human consumption.

In fact, blue cheese, much like many other cheeses, deliberately uses mold in order to give it its distinctive taste and texture.

The mold spores come into contact with blue cheese, either naturally or in a controlled manner.

However, what makes blue cheese mold safe to eat is that it is a form of penicillin.

The main varieties of penicillin found in blue cheese are Penicillium Roqueforti and Penicillium Glaucum.

Neither of these molds produce toxins by themselves and are therefore not dangerous to humans.

Penicillium roqueforti is the main mold that you’ll find on blue cheese.

These are actually naturally occurring mold spores, most commonly associated with the limestone caves in the Rouergue region of Southern France.

In fact, legend has it that “blue cheese mold” was discovered in one of these caves by a farmer, over 1,000 years ago.

The farmer had settled in the cave to enjoy a lunch of sheep’s milk cheese and rye bread.

However, his flock dispersed, so he set off to round them up, thus completely forgetting about his lunch.

It wasn’t until he returned to the same cave a few months later that he discovered his uneaten lunch.

A thick layer of mold had formed over the cheese, and for whatever reason the farmer took a bite (definitely a braver man than me).

2. Is Blue Cheese Mold Good For You?

Now, before I get into this, it’s important to remember the saying, “Everything in moderation”.

Basically, too much of a good thing is not actually that great for you.

That being said, there are certain health benefits to blue cheese mold.

Firstly, the mold on blue cheese is packed with antibacterial qualities, which can destroy various pathogens.

The same blue cheese molds also support gut flora.

This means that they are capable of improving both your digestion and your immunity system.

Furthermore, blue cheese contains more calcium than most other cheeses, which is great for your heart, bones, teeth, nerves, muscles, etc.

Additionally, Penicillium roqueforti produces enzymes that release amino acids, which are essential for many bodily functions.

So, you could say that blue cheese is excellent for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as fighting against arthritis and preventing osteoporosis.

Plus, blue cheese mold even boosts your brain health.

Now, with all these positives you could be tempted to literally live off blue cheese, in the hope of living a healthier lifestyle.

However, you must remember that blue cheese is still cheese, so it is fairly high in calories and fat.

Obviously, eating blue cheese in moderation is fine, plus you get to enjoy the various health benefits.

But, much the same as any other type of food, if you overdo it on the blue cheese, you’ll suffer the consequences.

How Blue Cheese is Made

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, blue cheese mold is safe to eat as it is a form of penicillin.

More specifically, Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum are used in the production of blue cheese.

Neither of these forms of penicillin produce toxins themselves, and are therefore completely safe for human consumption.

In fact, there are various health benefits to blue cheese mold.

That being said, you should still always eat blue cheese in moderation, as too much of a good thing can obviously end up being bad for you.

And on the subject of cheese that has potentially gone off, find out if mozzarella does go moldy quicker than others.

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