How come some food like mole sauce or sourdough can have leftovers from years ago without going bad?

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How come some food like mole sauce or sourdough can have leftovers from years ago without going bad?

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“Going bad ” typically means some undesirable microbe has grown on the food. Preserving food is a matter of preventing that. We can do that lots of ways. We dehydrate food so microbes have no moisture to live. We pasteurize food to kill the microbes then keep the food sealed tight so they can’t get in (caning), we store food in highly inhospitable environments like acid (pickling) and we ferment food by purposely growing non harmful microbes that out compete more harmful ones and often also create inhospitable environments.

Sourdough falls into a fermentation technique. Mole is probably highly acidic.

basically it’s not edible in the sense microorganisms can digest it.

also many foods ‘turn’ rather than rot based on the break down of the chemical makeup simply by aging. hard to describe but think about a can of paint. it’s usable paint for a while then certain materials start to settle in it while others rise. it’s a similar concept to chemical breakdown. some chemical bounds are very weak, others very strong, over time the weak ones will change into more stable chemicals based on a variety of factors such as state(liquid, gas, solid) energy(heat, electrical charge, electrical current, vibration or mixing) food that has turned isn’t necessarily bad for you, just tastes weird where as many molds primarily ameba or single cell organisms leave behind toxins when they digest your food and/or are infectious to people.