The average family of four trashes $2,275 worth of food each year, and a third of the bread purchased in the UK ends up in the rubbish bin—but a newly developed technique could help whittle down those depressing figures. As the BBC explains, an American company called Microzap claims to have created a process that can keep bread free from mold for 60 days. As its name implies, the bread is passed under a microwave device that zaps the mold spores, killing them in about 10 seconds.
Bread manufacturers are interested but wary, notes the BBC, which reports that margins are tight in the industry, so an additional cost might be tough to bear. And consumers could be grossed out by the idea of eating bread in December that they bought before Halloween. But there is an additional upside for consumers: Bread treated by the device wouldn't need to contain added preservatives—or the chemicals used to hide the taste of those preservatives. The technique can apparently also be applied to ground turkey, vegetables, and other foods, with one exception: cantaloupe. (Read more food waste stories.)