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While working as a fur trapper in Labrador, Canada, Clarence Birdseye encountered an age-old problem: bad food and an unappealing, unhealthy diet. However, he observed that fresh vegetables wetted and left outside in the Arctic winds froze in a way that maintained their integrity after thawing. As a result, he developed his patented Birdseye freezing process and started the company that still bears his name. Birdseye forever changed the way we preserve, store, and distribute food, and the way we eat.

Mark Kurlansky’s vibrant and affectionate narrative reveals Clarence Birdseye as a quintessential “can-do” American inventor—his other patents include an electric sunlamp, a harpoon gun to tag finback whales, and an improved incandescent lightbulb—and shows how the greatest of changes can come from the simplest of ideas and the unlikeliest of places. (from the publisher)

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767930304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767930307

review by food historian Andrew F Smith