Bacteria and Fungus we Eat
Name: Kayla H.
What kind of fungus and bacteria do we eat?
thousands of kinds, maybe more. Are you surprised?
bacteria are everywhere and our body can cope very
well with most. There are a few bacteria that we eat
'on purpose' which means they are added to food to
produce the taste and texture we want. That is the
case with cheeses, yoghurt, saurkraut, sour cream, any
fermented food (wine, beer) etc. Then there are lots
of bacteria that like your food as much as you do.
They will grow on it as soon as long as the food is not
cooking or freezing. By the time cooked food is cooled
down and frozen food heated up they start growing
again. That is nothing to worry as long as there are
not too many of the types that make you ill. Bacteria
grow slower at low temperature, that's why food keeps
better in the fridge.
You may like to know what your body does to defend it
against these little bugs. Have a look at the Virtual
Museum of Bacteria where you can find pages on food
safety, on how we fight bacteria (in our stomach and
with our immune system) and lots of other things.
And do not worry too much about eating bacteria: we
would not be alive if they weren't there. Life is
impossible in a sterile environment.
Dr. Trudy Wassenaar
Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives
Update: June 2012