The UNscientific method

The bread mold issue

Based on rigorous serious study (ie. comparing two loaves of bread in our kitchen) we have come to the conclusion that, while there may be many other factors involved as well,
the rate of mold formation is NOT dependant on the age of the bread, but is in fact proportional to the amount of bread in the bread bag.

Looking with dismay upon the remaining half of a week old loaf of bread, we were disappointed to discover the telltale marks of green, grey, and brown fuzz indicating that this loaf was soon to be an ex-loaf and relegated to the trash. However, upon removal of the loaf from its position on top of the microwave oven (a handier place has yet to be concocted), we did come across the remaining slice of a three week old loaf of bread. Making the casual assumption that there would be no point in using this older slice, we prepared to dispose of it as well. But, as is the case of many of these UNscientific happenings, serendipity played its usual part.

On the way to the trash (a grand 2.7 feet, or 82.3cm for those of you who prefer counting with 10 fingers instead of 12), we couldn't help but notice a distinct absence of these telltail signs of mold upon this one remaining older slice. It was actually quite free of any visible spores or tendrils. Looking rather well shaved instead of quite hairy (eg. the newer loaf), it was tempting to determine the other characteristics of this slice. Upon removal from the bag, it was determined that the bread was somewhat drier and staler than the newer bread. But this was simply to be expected of a food product that had been sitting around for two weeks longer. We also decided that the dryness could not be a factor, since this older loaf had presumably been through a moister phase approximating the newer loaf two weeks previously.

Searching for any hints of reason surrounding this issue, we hit upon the bit of historical evidence that seemed key to this situation. We had eaten most of the older loaf of bread within the first day or two after purchasing it. What remained after this time was a very small portion - possibly even the one remaining slice that still existed. So what we had at this point was a relatively tiny portion of bread left for a longer period of time. Compare this with a larger portion (nearly half a loaf) that had only been in existance for one week. It seemed that the rate of mold production was inversely related to the age of the bread. Knowing this to be unlikely, we searched for any other factors that might have been in play.

We at once hit upon the solution! The rate of mold production was directly related to the amount of bread remaining in each bag. We came to the inevitable conclusion that the mold itself needed a certain minimum population in order to get a foothold and grow into a visible and viable colony. A single remaining slice of bread simply did not contain enough mold spores to successfully populate their environment. Environmentalists will immediately see the relationship to endangered animal species. A certain small, but sufficient, quantitiy of a species is necessary to assure their successful breeding and survival.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, it became clear what the indicated procedure would be. From this time forward, we shall be opening every loaf of bread and re-wrapping each slice individually.

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The UNscientific method

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