One of the biggest innovations to ever happen to the modern food distribution system is the invention of frozen foods. This invention has allowed a wider variety of fruits, meats, veggies, and seafood products to be shipped to a larger portion of the public. And it’s all thanks to an American inventor and naturalist named Clarence Frank Birdseye II. Fortunately, we can celebrate him and his invention by celebrating National Frozen Food Day on March 6th every year.
The History Of National Frozen Food Day
Even though frozen food has been around for over 9 decades, it wouldn’t get its own official holiday until 1984. This is when U.S President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5157. This proclamation called for March 6th to be observed by the American people as National Frozen Food Day. It’s a holiday that’s been celebrated ever since.
The History Of Frozen Food
Before we start, we should state that frozen food is something that’s been done for over 3,000 years. The ancient Chinese would store foods in ice caves to keep them preserved—as did other peoples all over the world. However, it wouldn’t be until the 20th century that the process of modern frozen food was invented.
In 1927, Clarence Birdseye applied for a patent for a multi-plate freezing machine. This device held food between two metallic places and exposed the food to a temperature of -13 degrees Fahrenheit to flash freeze it. The following year, he created the first double belt freezer, and by 1930, the first line of frozen foods became available to the general public through the Birds Eye Frosted Food Co.
Some of the first foods flash-frozen using this technology include haddock fillets, loganberries, raspberries, and spinach. During the 1930s, however, very few people had freezers, so frozen food wasn’t an initial success. No, it would take a world war to raise frozen food’s profile.
During World War II, canned goods were needed for the military’s food supply, so Americans were encouraged to buy less canned goods and more frozen foods. And this is really when the frozen food industry would take off.
Facts About Frozen Foods
Below are some interesting facts about frozen foods that we think people celebrating this holiday will appreciate.
- Freezing food doesn’t deplete nutrients—that’s a myth.
- Freezing food for too long can diminish its quality, however.
- Clarence Birdseye also helped develop grocery-store freezers.
- Swanson would coin the term TV dinner.
- The Celentano Brothers invented frozen pizzas during the 1950s.
Observing National Frozen Food Day
National Frozen Food Day is a good day for people who normally do their family’s cooking to take off and just serve their family some frozen dinners. It’s also a good day for people to learn more about Clarence Birdseye and his remarkable contribution to society. If you do plan to celebrate this holiday, just be sure to use the hashtag #NationalFrozenFoodDay to let everyone know that you’re celebrating it.
When is National Frozen Food Day?
|This year (2021)||March 6 (Saturday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2022)||March 6 (Sunday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2020)||March 6 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|