By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From Asian carp to Powerball tax windfalls, we’re hitting “Reply All” to some of WCCO-TV viewers’ Good Questions.

How did the Asian Carp get to the U.S. in the first place? – Liz Pearson from Otsego

“They were actually imported from Asia for aquaculture,” said WCCO-TV reporter Bill Hudson, who’s been covering the carp story.

“There was a large aquaculture operation down in Missouri that had these farms, these fish farms. They were using [the carp] to clean the ponds, because Asian carp are filter-feeders,” he said, kind of like Hoovers to vacuum up the gunk.

Then there were floods and, “the floods overtook the ponds, the carp escaped into the river. And there’s history,” said Hudson.

Is it OK to eat cheese when there’s mold on the outside? – Rosanne Lofgren from St. Paul

Mold is part of the manufacturing process of most cheeses and eating that mold is no problem. The mold outside is different.

When it comes to semi-soft and hard cheeses, “of course it is safe to eat cheese with mold on it,” said Benjamin Roberts, head cheese at France 44 Cheese Shop.

That’s because the mold roots don’t spread deep into it. So cheddar, blue, asiago, cut it off. You’re fine.

However, if you see mold on shredded cheeses, cottage cheese, cream cheese — that could be dangerous, because the mold spores will spread deep into those soft cheeses. According to Mayo Clinic, you should throw that cheese out.

How much tax money does Minnesota get from the $229 million Powerball jackpot? – Stephanie from Minneapolis

If they take the annuity, which is 30 equal payments, the state takes a 7.25 percent cut. That’s $553,175 a year.

If they take the lump sum, Minnesota takes $8,961,000 in tax.

The federal government takes a much larger bite of 25 percent, so $1.9 million every year if they take the annuity; $30.9 million in federal taxes if they take the lump sum.


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