I have some beets with mold on the stems and top which is hardly visible but has a noticeable smell.

If I cook them for 60 minutes and then peel them, will the beets then be edible?

  • 2
    Why would you want to eat something with a mouldy smell?
    – Stephie
    Jan 22, 2015 at 18:22
  • 2
    What you see as mold is just the "bloom" of the fungus. Depending on the species, the rest of the beet could be infested with it before the bloom is even visible. If the mold is touching any part you would want to eat the whole thing should probably be tossed. Jan 22, 2015 at 20:41
  • 4
    I recall reading somewhere that the problem with moldy foods isn't the mold, per se, but the mycotoxins and infections spores it produces. It's conceivable that by the time you see fungus somewhere, the toxins have dispersed throughout the vegetable, and the spores are more or less everywhere. (Consider that if you have a patch of fungus on the walls in your room, the room is considered "not safe" to some degree to sleep in, without having to actually lick the walls.) Besides, it's beets, it costs a few pennies per serving, tossing moldy roots is not where you lose money.
    – millimoose
    Jan 22, 2015 at 23:05
  • You must REALLY like your beets. Jan 10, 2019 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


If it were just mold, I would say you could just cut the moldy portions off prior to cooking. The smell, however, tells me they have turned bad. The mold may very well be more extensive than just on the exterior, it has probably penetrated through the stem to the center of the beet. If food ever in any way ever looks or smells "off" don't use it. Possibly getting sick or even food poisoning is not worth it. There would also probably be a very bad smell in your home while they cooked that would be hard to get rid of. Play it safe and throw them away. I grew up learning the phrase: "when in doubt throw it out." I have no doubt here, though that these beets have gone around the bend.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.