Sharing highlights from the Maritime Museum of BC Collection is a favourite activity for staff; our Maritime Minutes video series on Youtube features staff from all areas of Museum operations describing objects of note and revealing what stories and history we could uncover in our records. Each month we share a written version of one such video on our blog, edited lightly to fit a blog format.
Our records tell us that these are of the type of freeze-dried foods issued to Canadian Coast Guard vessels during Arctic operations. The Canadian Coast Guard was formed in 1962, and to this day, continues to serve an important role in the Arctic, including icebreaking, search and rescue, and scientific research support. Freeze Dry Foods Ltd opened in 1963 and the label tells us that the modern freeze-drying process was revolutionary.
It’s a process called sublimation: after the veggies are frozen, a vacuum pump lowers the pressure to almost zero, and the frozen water starts to evaporate. The result is a product that is lightweight with no refrigeration needed! The nutritional value, shape, and flavor all remain the same – perfect for packing a meal aboard a vessel!
If you bring the can to your ear, you can still hear those peas shaking around inside! With a shelf life of thirty years, we wonder what they taste like today…