Flash Freeze Fresh Food


In the recent Maine Local Foods Survey, one respondent suggested that we have a mobile flash-freezing trailer. These units are able to go around to different farmer's markets through out the summer/fall and flash freeze fresh food for people right in front of their eyes. I did not think very much about the implications of this, but did include it in a list of example responses to the "ah-ha ideas to sell local foods" that I presented to my class.

My professor immediately picked up on this idea. He thought it was brilliant. Right now frozen food has a bad reputation. When people think of frozen food, they think of instant microwaveable TV dinners or other highly processed food products. If instead, people could buy their food fresh from a farmer's market, and then watch as it is flash-frozen, then their perceptions of frozen food would change. They would know the food they had would still be as fresh as they day they bought it when they decide to eat it. If we could promote frozen farmer's market food, people might be willing to purchase more food when it is available fresh and then have it frozen so they could have access to "fresh" food all winter. This would solve the gripe that many of us living in Maine have of not having access to fresh food all year round.

In the article, "Going Mobile: Poultry slaughterhouse rolls into Vermont," they state,

"The poultry mobile slaughterhouse is modeled after an already-successful fruits and vegetable mobile unit that was brought out by the state of Vermont this past summer. This flash-freeze unit allows growers to quickly freeze fruits and vegetables for later resale."

I am throwing this idea out there in hopes that it will grow in popularity. It looks like Vermont is already embracing the flash food freezing. If Maine is as well, I have not seen it in action at Farmer's Markets or MOFGA's Common Ground Fair, but it could be in use behind the scenes. It seems like quite a useful invention that helps to promote local agriculture, and would be great not only for the growers, but also for the consumers, especially if it was used in public at the point of sale.

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