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by Ellen Landauer

Ethylene and Mold:
Toxic Duo

Ethylene is a plant toxin not much talked about.  It commonly appears along with harmful molds.

Ethylene from ripe Apples

Also referred to as ethylene oxide, it is a gas which is secreted by fruits and other plant foods as they ripen. Onions are a good example of a vegetable that also exudes this toxin.

Ethylene oxide is harmful to us - but not usually noticed as such, as we usually are exposed to it in small amounts. * Below, I describe how damaging it is to our health and cite references.*

I would argue that it's NOT 'the dose makes the poison.'

I don't agree with, 'If our bodies are getting rid of it, why worry.'

A toxin is a toxin - and small amounts of any poison commonly result in health issues over time - a fact downplayed by both media and researchers.
*Our body energy would be more constructively spent on increasing vitality rather than excreting toxins.*

But the silence on this is deafening. The agenda of the arbiters of mass culture is to devitalize us by propagandizing a diet of 80% or more plant foods as healthy - and demonizing the very foods that make us smarter and stronger.

Generally, people who consume all or primarily meats and other animal-sourced foods are not so easy to control - that is NOT what our institutions want!

Ethylene is the Basis of
PVC and Plastic!

Ethylene is used to make PVC and plastic!

'Bananas hanging on a tree or sitting in the produce section of the grocery store start out green, plenty hard and none too tasty. Over time, of course, they become softer and sweeter. The cause of fruit ripening is a natural form of a chemical synthesized to make PVC (polyvinyl chloride) piping and plastic bags—namely, a gaseous plant hormone called ethylene.' (1)

Ethylene Side Effects and Science

(Emphasis mine in quote below).

'Short-term exposure to ethylene oxide can cause health effects, including skin and eye irritation, headache, nausea, and respiratory issues such as coughing or difficulty breathing. The severity of the symptoms depends on the concentration and duration of exposure. Long-term exposure may result in an increased risk of cancer due to potential mutagenic or carcinogenic characteristics.'  (5)

Ethylene: My Experience

My acquaintance with ethylene and mold toxicity we are exposed to through ripening fruits began rather innocently. In my clueless days, when I would buy organic fruit, I remember a little feeling of revulsion when inspecting a cantaloupe and finding mold at the blossom end - said to indicate peak flavor.

The smell of ripening cantaloupe, while back then somewhat appealing, also had a repugnant feel to it. But I let that go by, anticipating the sweet flavor. Of course, consuming the cantaloupe then resulted in fermentative activity in my gut soon after - which I also ignored.

Once I ditched all plant foods, the negative effects of exposure to the fumes of ripening fruits bacame obvious. I didn't yet know the name of the gas exuded by this process, but I DID know my body didn't like it.

The epiphany came one day when I opened a refrigerator, in which the owner had stored a large bag of beautiful organic apples. Upon opening the refrigerator, the smell of the ripening fruit was musky and sickly sweet - enough so that it was repulsive and nauseating to me. Those who still eat such fare would likely label me a nut case.

A couple of years of eating our true ancestral animal-based diet had so changed my biochemistry that the wonderful organic heirloom apples I had previously eaten in abundance now showed me that they are just plain wrong as human food. Apples as we know them did not exist a hundred or so years ago. Nor did any other plant food we see in the produce section!

Previous to the agricultural era - which is only a moment in time in the millions of years of human existence, lived the healthiest humans who ever roamed the earth. They were meat-eating hunters - carnivores - apex predators with a more acidic stomach pH than wolves!

In the millenia leading up to the agricultural era, nomadic tribes lived primarily on the milk, butter and cheese they produced from reindeer, sheep, goats - and even donkeys and horses. They also ate meat - both from their herds and from wild animals. These people - many of whom lived in harsh climates - were vastly healthier than modern humans. Some of these nomads still thrive in the most desolate places on earth.

Perhaps they would also experience a response similar to mine, to ethylene exuded by ripening fruits...

Ethylene and Mold

Online articles often wax eloquent about how the ripening effects of this wondrous ethylene compound softens and sweetens fruits, making them delicious.

Added to this, fruits and vegetables harbor mold spores, which grow and spread as the ripening process gets underway. Even before plant 'foods' are harvested, mold starts growing - before you actually see it. Ripening is related to a mold process as well as to ethylene. Both are toxic.

Of particular concern is mold that tunnels through the fruit or vegetable. Once mold is visible on any 'food,' you can be sure it has spread throughout. Any mold will produce mycotoxins, which are damaging to health, as people with mold allergies will attest.

Mold on Food: the Facts

In addition to exuding ethylene oxide during the ripening process, fruits and vegetables are riddled with mold spores. Once harvested, the mold starts growing - even before you actually see it.

Ripening is related to a mold process as well as ethylene. Both are toxic. Of particular concern is mold that tunnels through the fruit. Any mold will produce mycotoxins, which are damaging to health as anyone who has experienced mold allergies will attest. 

'Some molds are dangerous because they cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in susceptible people. Some molds also produce mycotoxins that are poisonous substances that can make people sick. When food looks moldy, the mold spores have already invaded deeply into the product. Mycotoxins are most often contained in and around these spores but may also spread throughout the food.'  

'If you see moldy food, do not smell or sniff it. Throw out the food by putting it into a small paper bag or wrapping it in plastic and throwing it in a covered trash can away from children or animals. Clean the refrigerator or pantry, especially in the area where the food was stored and check nearby items that the moldy food might have touched. Mold spreads quickly in fruits and vegetables.'  (2)

So often, we think; 'If I just cut away the part of the fruit, vegetable, cheese or bread with the visible mold, I won't have to waste the food.' 

NO - bad idea!

'Mold can start growing on your food well before you buy it.  It can grow during the food processing or production processes, like harvesting and storage.'

'Some molds are dangerous because they can cause respiratory problems. Some types may also lead to allergic reactions. A few molds also produce poisons, called mycotoxins, that can make you very sick.

'Mycotoxins are produced by molds present on nut crops and in grain. But they could also come from molds growing on fruits, like apples. Another type of toxin, called aflatoxins, can even cause death.'

'You may be tempted to cut around the mold and eat the rest of the food. This is not a good idea. If there's mold on food, its roots are inside. And, there's most probably bacteria growing there, too. While mold is visible, you can't see bacteria with the naked eye.

If you see fungus on food, it's best to discard the food item.' (3)

'According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, mycotoxins can cause severe, adverse health effects, such as: acute poisoning, immune deficiencies, cancer.' (4)








Ellen Landauer is an expert with over 40 years in-depth study and experience of the safe and effective use of nutritional supplements, botanical extracts and detoxification methods.

She is Certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration body therapy developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf - also known as Rolfing. This hands-on therapy is the deepest, most comprehensive body alignment therapy. 

Ellen Landauer is also a  PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

To learn more about Ellen Landauer, see her detailed bio HERE


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