I was in Florida over the holidays, camping with my family. During the course of the trip we learned more than we ever wanted to know about Southern American cuisine (here's a tip: never order the Sweet Tea - get the Unsweet Tea instead and add your own sugar).
At one point towards the end of our trip - it would have been a day or two before New Year's - we bought a loaf of bread. I wanted to avoid anything resembling Wonderbread, but I found something called "Nature's Own Butterbread" which claimed to have "No Artificial Preservatives, Colors or Flavors" and "No High Fructose Corn Syrup".
Excellent! I thought. So I bought a loaf, we used a few slices, and brought the rest home with us.
As of today, that loaf was exactly one month past it's best before date. And yet...
... it's as fresh and spongy and mould-free as the day it was baked. My husband just made a sandwich out of it the other day.
That is just so wrong in so many ways.
The company's website claims that the only preservatives they use are natural ones including vinegar and "cultured wheat flour", whatever that means. I suspect they are talking about the four lines of chemical-sounding ingredients on the label that are categorized under "dough conditioners" - one of which is something called azodicarbonamide. Go read the Wikipedia article. I dare you. I couldn't bring myself to look up the rest of the list.
So now this is an experiment: how long can a loaf of bread possibly continue to exist before going mouldy?
I'll keep you updated.