There has been much controversy regarding the mold which sometimes grows on wheatgrass. This section of our site hopes to answer all the common questions we have encountered dealing with mold.
Should I drink wheatgrass if I have a known allergy to a mold?
We suggest not drinking wheatgrass juice if you have a known allergy. The growth of some species of mold on wheatgrass cannot be prevented, and although the molds are not pathogenic, they may cause a reaction if you have an allergy.
Is the mold growing on my wheatgrass harmful to me?
The growth of mold on wheatgrass is nearly impossible to prevent, but is it harmful to your health? Our answer is No. Almost all common species of mold which grow on wheatgrass are not pathogenic (not harmful to humans). This is clearly illustrated in the wheatgrass mold testing done by Steve Meyerowitz. It's normal for us to consume a certain amount of mold in our food as mold spores are found in the air. Also many foods are made with mold cultures on purpose, such as cheese (blue cheese, for example) and soy sauce.
However, many people find the mold both unattractive and unappetizing. This is why we try very hard to limit the amount of mold which grows on our trays. When harvesting our grass, we cut above any mold which tends to grow on the seeds and soil near the base of the blades. We advise all our stores and private customers to do the same.
I've tried wheatgrass before and it made me sick or nauseous. Could this have been caused from mold?
Again, the mold found in wheatgrass should not make you sick unless you have a mold allergy. Your feeling of nausea is most likely a "detox effect". This occurs when the body is so rapidly exposed to healing that a form of "withdrawal" occurs. This usually manifests itself in the form of nausea, however, will only occur for the first few days (less than a week) of using wheatgrass. So please, try wheatgrass for a few days. The detox effects you experience are necessary to rapidly cleanse the body of harmful substances and should subside quickly.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor grown Wheatgrass
Outdoor Wheatgrass growers have lately been claiming that their "mold free" grass is of much higher quality than that of indoor grown. As well they claim that the mold grown on indoor wheatgrass is harmful to your health and can cause nausea or headaches. Here is our response:
Perfect Foods grows all our products indoors or in greenhouses and in as sterile a condition as possible. Since the beginning, it was the indoor grown variety that earned wheatgrass its amazing reputation. Our trays are routinely examined by hand and inspected for quality and cleanliness. They must meet our high standards before they go to market. Any of our grass devoted for juicing and freezing is thoroughly inspected for foreign material before it is cut and then put through a rigorous washing procedure. The final frozen product is mold free, yet customers still report experiencing the same detox effects which outdoor growers have attributed to mold.
While our wheatgrass is grown in a highly controlled and monitored environment, outdoor grown wheatgrass is subject to the elements. This could mean bird droppings, pests, and/or foreign material gathered by the harvesting machines getting into the product. It would be difficult to claim otherwise given that the grass is left outside for up to a year at a time.