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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 23 February 2013
in Clean Factoids

Ode to Sourdough

Did you know that sourdough bread resists mold? I didn’t know that. But that may be because I haven’t Sourdough-miche-boule-Chris-R- Sims psdhad the luxury of letting a decent loaf (a honest-to-goodness loaf) of sourdough bread sit out to waste away since leaving the Golden State. I’m not even able to splurge on a Sourdough Jack from Jack in the Box because the fast food chain isn’t found in this region. I'm not bitter, I'm just hungry.

Fun Fact: The mascot of the San Francisco 49ers is named “Sourdough Sam” as a nod to the bread’s Gold Rush era heritage in Northern California.

The football team’s website says Samster’s favorite food is garlic fries. Shouldn’t his favorite food be sourdough bread? I’ve heard it said that you can make sandwiches with the stuff. No one could hate a sandwich.

During the sourdough baking process, that mythical and strange set of steps that begins with an unconventional starter, bacteria convert the linoleic acid in the bread flour to a compound that has powerful antifungal activity.

Michael Gaenzle of the University of Alberta, Edmonton said “Genuine sourdough bread differs from ordinary bread in having an extra fermentation step, over and above yeast fermentation. This step is mediated by lactic acid bacteria, typically of the genus Lactobacillus.”

Gaenzle and his colleagues studied linoleic acid, lactobacilli, and pinpointed what was giving the bread it’s mold-resisting power- L. hammesii  and a second antifungal fatty acid produced by cereal enzymes contributed as well.

There are two major benefits from this bread research: better tasting bread due to the elimination of preservatives -not that sourdough bread with its “distinct and richer flavor compared to bread produced with yeast only" needed any help in the taste category and  “novel tools to control fungi in malting and plant production, via treatment of seeds with the anti-fungal fatty acids.” Which I think is a fancy way of saying scientists can stop mold before it even starts.

Researchers concluded: “The use of 20% sourdough fermented with L. hammesii, or the use of 0.15% coriolic acid in breadmaking increased the mold-free shelf life by 2 — 3 days or from 2 to more than 6 days, respectively.”

That’s practically a whole week’s worth of extended shelf life!

We all know that if companies can increase the shelf life of food (and without using unhealthy preservatives) it can eliminate waste in several ways: the energy, water, and other associated resources used in production and at the consumer level because stores and households will throw less food away. I told you sourdough bread was magical.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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