See also: Freezer Burn; Article on Frozen Food;
On March 6, 1930 the first sale of frozen foods to the general public took place at Davidson's Market in Springfield, Massachusetts - Frozen Birds Eye Spinach. Sales were slow to catch on though - consumers thought of frozen foods as lower quality. Also, retailers were reluctant to carry them due to both the high cost of freezer cabinets and the electricity needed to run them. By 1933 there were only about 500 stores selling frozen foods in all of the U.S.!
During World War II when Japan had conquered of Southeast Asia, America's main source of tin was cut off. Most canned foods were needed for military use, so the frozen food industry expanded rapidly to fill the void left by the limited supply of canned goods. Until then, most frozen foods were luxury foods.
Most vegetables and fruit that is to be frozen, is picked, packaged and frozen within 6 hours of so of being harvested. Many frozen vegetables have more of certain vitamins than the fresh ones that may have been harvested 5 or more days before you cook them.
Spinach was the first frozen vegetable to be sold.
Top 10 per capita consumption of Frozen Food: (2000)
• Norway - 78 lbs
• Denmark - 72 lbs
• UK - 68 lbs
• Israel - 63 lbs
• Czech Republic - 47 lbs
• Sweden - 45 lbs
• Ireland - 42 lbs
• Belgium - 39 lbs
• Finland - 37 lbs
• U.S. - 36 lbs.
Fresh or Frozen?
According to USDA regulations, the term fresh on a poultry label refers to any raw poultry product that has never been below 26 °F.
Raw poultry held at 0 °F or below must be labeled frozen or previously frozen.
No specific labeling is required on raw poultry stored at temperatures between 0-25 °F. - it does not have to be labeled as frozen.
Think about that - if vegetables, beef, pies, or any other product is kept at 0-25 °F. it is frozen. But not chicken. It may be hard as a rock, but it does not have to be labeled frozen unless it is held below 0 °F.!
Using this standard, the ice cubes in the average home refrigerator would not be called frozen!