Frostbite: How Refrigeration Changed Our Food, Our Planet, and Ourselves

Don’t miss an evening of conversation with the Museum’s Center for the Environment celebrating the release of Nicola Twilley’s Frostbite.

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A collage of images including the book cover for Frostbite, the book's author Nicola Twilley and her co-host Cynthia Graber.

Member pre-sale Tuesday, June 11. On sale to general public on Wednesday, June 12.

All in-person registered attendees receive a copy of Frostbite by Nicola Twilley

How often do we open the fridge or peer into the freezer with the expectation that we’ll find something fresh and ready to eat? It’s an everyday act — but just a century ago, eating food that had been refrigerated was cause for both fear and excitement. The introduction of artificial refrigeration overturned millennia of dietary history, launching a new chapter in human nutrition. We could now overcome not just rot, but seasonality and geography. Tomatoes in January? Avocados in Shanghai? All possible.

In Frostbite, Nicola Twilley, New Yorker contributor and cohost of the award-winning podcast Gastropod, takes readers on a tour of the cold chain from farm to fridge revealing the transformative impact refrigeration has had on our health and our guts; our farms, tables, kitchens, and cities; global economics and politics; and even our environment.

In the developed world, we’ve reaped the benefits of refrigeration for more than a century, but the costs are catching up with us. We’ve eroded our connection to our food and redefined what “fresh” means. More important, refrigeration is one of the leading contributors to climate change. Twilley asks: Can we reduce our dependence on refrigeration? Should we? Frostbite makes the case for a recalibration of our relationship with the fridge—and how our future might depend on it.

Part of the Museum’s Year of the Earthshot, an exploration of the climate solutions and the actions we can take now to live sustainably on Earth. 

This program is free, thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.

Register for the Event

Date and Time

Tuesday, July 16 | 7:00 pm

Audience

Adults 18+

Location

Blue Wing View Map

Price

Free with Pre-Registration

Language

English
Register for the Event

Date and Time

Tuesday, July 16 | 7:00 pm

Audience

Adults 18+

Location

Blue Wing View Map

Price

Free with Pre-Registration

Language

English

Member pre-sale Tuesday, June 11. On sale to general public on Wednesday, June 12.

All in-person registered attendees receive a copy of Frostbite by Nicola Twilley

How often do we open the fridge or peer into the freezer with the expectation that we’ll find something fresh and ready to eat? It’s an everyday act — but just a century ago, eating food that had been refrigerated was cause for both fear and excitement. The introduction of artificial refrigeration overturned millennia of dietary history, launching a new chapter in human nutrition. We could now overcome not just rot, but seasonality and geography. Tomatoes in January? Avocados in Shanghai? All possible.

In Frostbite, Nicola Twilley, New Yorker contributor and cohost of the award-winning podcast Gastropod, takes readers on a tour of the cold chain from farm to fridge revealing the transformative impact refrigeration has had on our health and our guts; our farms, tables, kitchens, and cities; global economics and politics; and even our environment.

In the developed world, we’ve reaped the benefits of refrigeration for more than a century, but the costs are catching up with us. We’ve eroded our connection to our food and redefined what “fresh” means. More important, refrigeration is one of the leading contributors to climate change. Twilley asks: Can we reduce our dependence on refrigeration? Should we? Frostbite makes the case for a recalibration of our relationship with the fridge—and how our future might depend on it.

Part of the Museum’s Year of the Earthshot, an exploration of the climate solutions and the actions we can take now to live sustainably on Earth. 

This program is free, thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.

Featuring

Nicola Twilley

Nicola Twilley is the coauthor of Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine, named one of the best books of 2021 by Time, NPR, The Guardian, and the Financial Times. She is cohost of Gastropod, the award-winning and popular podcast that looks at food through the lens of science and history, produced as part of the Vox Media Podcast Network in partnership with Eater. She is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker.

Cynthia Graber

Cynthia Graber is co-host/co-founder of the internationally popular and acclaimed podcast Gastropod, about the science and history of food. She’s also an award-winning print reporter and radio producer whose work has been featured in magazines and radio shows including Wired, Fast Company, the New Yorker, Studio 360, The World, and many others. She launched Gastropod with Nicola Twilley in 2014; the show has won  several national awards and is regularly featured on ‘best-of’ podcast lists. Cynthia spent 2012 – 2013 as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and is an instructor in the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing.