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Scientists Develop Sixty Day Bread 440

Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that scientists have developed a technique that can make bread stay mold-free for 60 days that could also be used with a wide range of foods including fresh turkey and many fruits and vegetables. At its laboratory on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Don Stull of Microzap showed off the long, metallic microwave device that resembles an industrial production line. Originally designed to kill bacteria such as MRSA and salmonella, the researchers discovered it could kill the mold spores in bread in around 10 seconds. 'We treated a slice of bread in the device, we then checked the mold that was in that bread over time against a control,' says Stull. 'And at 60 days it had the same mold content as it had when it came out of the oven.' Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. In the US, figures released this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase — which adds up to $165 Billion annually. There is some concern that consumers might not take to bread that lasts for so long and Stull acknowledges it might be difficult to convince some people of the benefits. 'We'll have to get some consumer acceptance of that. Most people do it by feel and if you still have that quality feel they probably will accept it.'"
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Scientists Develop Sixty Day Bread

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  • by ratbag ( 65209 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:25AM (#42166669)

    Quick heads up - they put the ingredients on the side of the bag.

  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:25AM (#42166671)
    The problem is over time nutrician in food declines. We're so obsessed with keeping food forever it may all end up with the nutricianal value of card board. On the bright side it may reduce waste but it would tend to be abused. Bakeries may decide they can run just one day a week and take their sweet time getting to you or better yet centralize so there are a couple of mega bakeries in the country that take their time shipping all over the country. Their idea of fresh bread may be a month old. It may not form mold but it could all taste like crap but if it saves corporations money get used to it. Remember tomatoes taste like rubber because they are picked green to make them easier to transport. Corporations only care about profit.
  • by F'Nok ( 226987 ) * on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:34AM (#42166695)

    Really? Because most places here have options on the source of the tomatos, or bread.

    You want bread baked today, you buy the one that says "baked today".
    If people are willing to buy 30 day old bread, it's not really the fault of corporations, there are plenty of independent bakeries that could cater to your needs.

    See the organic food supply for the same effect in action. Or a local farmers market. etc

  • Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jampola ( 1994582 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:03AM (#42166821)
    Purchase 40% less food. Duh!
  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:05AM (#42166827)
    I imagine 100% of a bag of bread is chemicals just like 100% of a person's body is chemicals. It's a good fit.
  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:56AM (#42167001)

    100% of everything is chemicals. But if you're insinuating that 90% of what's in bread is chemically altered or produced by some artificial means, you're insane, It's obviously mostly flower. Any preservatives they put into it are salts of one form or another. And sometimes they put high fructose corn syrup in it, which keeps it seeming fresh while lowering the water activity. But there's no need to speculate about any of this, because the ingredients are listed on the label.

  • Wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @08:13AM (#42167531) Homepage

    Newflash numbnuts - cholesterol is a vital part of our biochemistry. Without it cell membranes would fall apart. The problem comes when its eaten in excess. But you could say that about anything - salt, sugar, protein, carbs, even water.

    AFWIW a high protein low carb diet is actually quite healthy. Protein doesn't give you heart problems OR make you fat. Ask any athlete. Though if you over indulge over a long period of time it can give you kidney issues. And bad breath.

  • by Troyusrex ( 2446430 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @09:05AM (#42167797)

    Problem is most bread companies dont want to do that, it reduces the CEO's pay by reducing profits.

    That's only how straw man capitalism works, not real world capitalism. In real world capitalism if bread made with honey were actually a superior product then although the CEO of an entrenched bread company might not want to produce it a CEO of an upstart would realize she could raise her pay by producing and selling it thus gaining market share, enriching her investors and leaving the entrenched bread company in the dust.

    Of course, in "capitalism" as practiced by the US right now the entrenched bread company would get the government to pass some regulation that seemed reasonable but that was actually designed to hamper the competition. Perhaps new labeling or packaging requirements that, due to scaling effects, would impose much higher costs per unit on small producers.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday December 03, 2012 @11:27AM (#42169085) Homepage Journal

    If people are willing to buy 30 day old bread, it's not really the fault of corporations, there are plenty of independent bakeries that could cater to your needs.

    This is a load of poppycock. It is the fault of corporations, and here's why. Food used to be grown in a more distributed fashion. Megacorporations have used a variety of techniques both fair and foul to drive small farmers out of business. They buy up their farms and then they use them to produce (now-)GMO bulk crops that are used to produce the processed foods which are the only thing sold in supermarkets, i.e. by corporations. And supermarkets have used means both foul and fair to drive small independent markets which carried superior foodstuffs out of business. Now the landscape is littered with Fauxganic outlets like Whole Foods (aka "Whole Paycheck") and there is no quality local food available to most people. Because of economies of scale, you can buy a loaf of zero-nutrtitional-value "wheat" bread for a dollar, but a loaf of local handmade bread will typically cost you around five, and it doesn't make as many slices either.

    See the organic food supply for the same effect in action. Or a local farmers market. etc

    It's funny that you mention farmer's markets, because they used to be much more prevalent before the rise of the corporate grocery chain. I've actually bought produce grown in my place of residence, first Santa Cruz and now Lake county, which was shipped out of the county, packed, sent to a Safeway shipping plant, and brought back to my local Safeway store. And since the food growers get bought up by megacorporations, they refuse to sell locally. So in fact, it really is the fault of corporations who have dismantled our ability to purchase quality food at a fair price, and they did it deliberately to force us to buy from them.

    The best way to fight back is to make more of your own food. Don't buy the bread from Safeway or your local baker. Bake it yourself. It doesn't take very long. Do this for enough of what you eat, and you'll save enough money to wind up keeping the same amount of money while working less hours, so you have more time to enjoy your food.

    I also shop at Grocery Outlet often. It's a bit touch-and-go, but the way it works is that they sell mostly pullbacks from other stores. Our only salvation, if you can call it that, is that supermarkets drove their competition out of business by having larger selection and "lower prices" (though on inferior goods, the customer is typically not well-educated about food) but retail stores have to fill all their space or they look empty, and cause negative perception. This becomes a limiting factor when food items become too expensive for the majority to purchase, which has been happening more and more of late. The result for me is high quality food items with a relatively short expiration date, much of which has never actually proceeded past the point of cold storage before it was resold to grocery outlet due to another limiting factor of large, corporate retail outlets: inflexibility in stock.

  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @12:08PM (#42169665)

    For most people just looking for an excuse to eat butter (toast) or something to hold together a sandwich, bread IS a commodity.

    While I suspect the percentage of true bread lovers on /. is perhaps higher than average since we're nerds and appreciate quality, the average man does not think twice about grabbing a loaf off the supermarket shelf. The mere situation of grabbing bread off the shelf compared to from a bonafide bakery says a lot about the state of bread in today's society.

  • by citylivin ( 1250770 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @02:56PM (#42171657)

    "That's only how straw man capitalism works, not real world capitalism"

    and then

    "Of course, in "capitalism" as practiced by the US right now the entrenched bread company would get the government to pass some regulation"

    So if the US government practices an example of "straw man capitalism" in the real world, does that not make it "real world capitalism?".

    The problem is that your academic version of capitalism has no baring on the real world. In the real world, the CEO would collude and conspire to increase profits at the expense of everything else, including and not limited to his shareholders and the future of the company. Because in capitalist america, short term profits drive YOU!

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.