The elves had magic ability (and apparently the most secret recipe of all time) to keep their lembas bread fresh and tasty almost indefinitely. One gets the idea that it is more than just the leaves that the bread is wrapped in that does the trick. Humans were apparently never able to convince the elves to pass the recipe on, because our popular breads take tons of chemical preservatives to prevent spoilage. Our modern science wizards have not given up on the goal though, and they may be making steps closer to this elusive magical preservation.
I heard a report on NPR Science Friday yesterday about a new technology that uses a brief pulse (Zap!) of microwave to pasteurize food from dangerous contaminants. I am really excited about this possibility. It could extend the life of fresh produce reducing food waste and potentially lowering the cost of fresh produce, also it could cut down on the need for chemical preservatives in processed foods such as baked goods, and dramatically reduce food borne illness which indiscriminately kills millions of people worldwide. Way to go Texas Tech for their work on this project. This looks like a bold step towards helping people eat in a way that makes the world healthier, but as my husband hastens to point out, don’t zap the yogurt. Can’t wait to buy a MicroZap! http://www.depts.ttu.edu/aged/agriculturist/spring2011/microzap.html