March is going to be a busy month. Not only is it Women’s History Month,…
March is going to be a busy month. Not only is it Women’s History Month, but we’re also celebrating Frozen Food Month.
These days, we’re so used to having frozen food in our lives that we don’t realize what a revolutionary concept frozen veggies, fruits and meats were when they first appeared in the 1930s.
Of course, many peoples who lived in cold climes had “discovered” frozen foods thousands of years ago. And there were many experiments with freezing food over the years. But it was the development of flash freezing that made high quality frozen food an everyday reality.
We can thank Clarence Birdseye for this great advance in freezing technology. (Yes, that Birdseye).
He was on a scientific expedition to Labrador early in the 20th century when he noticed that freshly caught fish froze solid almost immediately when exposed to Arctic atmospheric conditions. But when thawed and eaten, the fish still tasted fresh.
This was a fine observation, but hardly a discovery.
Birdseye became obsessed with the idea of providing this convenience year-round, in cities and towns across America, and around the world.
He eventually came up with a flash-freezing process that allowed the frozen foods he produced to maintain their freshness – even after packaging, transport and long weeks and months of preservation in less-than-optimal freezer environments.
The first retail frozen food went on sale in 1930, and by 1944, refrigerated railroad boxcars allowed frozen foods to be distributed across the nation.
And so we celebrate national Frozen Food Month in March.