can I eat it - sticky peas edition
December 11, 2018 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I like to buy the sealed bags of fresh shelled peas at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, and snack on them uncooked over the next few days. This latest batch, from WF, has developed a kind of lightly sticky / slimy coating which rinses off easily. What is this, and can I eat my peas?

From both stores, these peas are always a product of Guatemala, in case that's relevant to anything. On the day of purchase, I moved the peas from their sealed plastic bag to a tupperware container. They tasted a tiny bit off on the first day, but I ate a bunch anyway and didn't die. On the third day I got out some more, and they were sticky-slimy enough that I rinsed them before eating. And I ate them anyway and didn't die. On the fifth day (today) they are quite slimy-sticky indeed! The goo rinsed off quite nicely, but I haven't eaten them because I don't want to die yet.

I suppose I don't really care so much whether I should eat these particular peas (I probably won't) as what is going on. Is it fungus? Bacteria? Pea pee? I get these pea packs often, but I usually eat them all within 2 days because usually they taste better than these ones.
posted by moonmilk to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pitch 'em
posted by Glomar response at 12:47 PM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Just noticed that half an hour after rinsing, the peas smell yeasty! So I'm gonna guess it's a yeasty kind of fungus.
posted by moonmilk at 12:50 PM on December 11, 2018

Slimy is generally bad news when it comes to food hygiene - I will eat a lot of things that are potentially a bit gone off, but I draw the line at slimy.
posted by terretu at 12:57 PM on December 11, 2018

Best answer: Chances are it's a biofilm, a bacterial environment that they manufacture collectively. Whether you can eat it depends on what kind of bacteria are in it, how many, and your stomach's ability to handle bacteria.
posted by ckridge at 1:06 PM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Humans have an aversion to slimy. For God's sack, don't eat slimy things that haven't been slimy before.

And if you eat something and think "that's a bit off" DON'T EAT IT. You really owe it to yourself. You may cross the road dozens of times without looking both ways, but just because you haven't been hit by a car isn't an argument for not bothering to look both ways.
posted by kestralwing at 1:47 PM on December 11, 2018

Bagged produce is very vulnerable to developing some pretty gross bacterial spoilage. I would pitch the peas and bring the bag back to TJ's and have them refund you and mark the lot as contaminated/quality problem.
posted by quince at 1:49 PM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Don't worry, I trashed the peas! And I'll take the bag back to the store next time I go.
posted by moonmilk at 9:15 PM on December 11, 2018

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