Only when the power goes off and food spoils do we truly
appreciate how much we rely on refrigerators and freezers. In
"Refrigeration Nation, " Jonathan Rees explores the innovative
methods and gadgets that Americans have invented to keep perishable
food cold--from cutting river and lake ice and shipping it to
consumers for use in their iceboxes to the development of
electrically powered equipment that ushered in a new age of
convenience and health.
As much a history of successful business practices as a history
of technology, this book illustrates how refrigeration has changed
the everyday lives of Americans and why it remains so important
today. Beginning with the natural ice industry in 1806, Rees
considers a variety of factors that drove the industry, including
the point and product of consumption, issues of transportation, and
technological advances. Rees also shows that how we obtain and
preserve perishable food is related to our changing relationship
with the natural world. He compares how people have used the "cold
chain" in America to its use in other countries, offering insight
into more than just what we eat. "Refrigeration Nation" helps
explain one small part of who we are as a people.
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