The global supply chain that keeps perishable goods at controlled temperatures has revolutionised the food industry, and other industries too.
The global supply chain that keeps perishable goods at controlled temperatures has revolutionised the food industry. It widened our choice of food and improved our nutrition. It enabled the rise of the supermarket. And that, in turn, transformed the labour market: less need for frequent shopping frees up women to work. As low-income countries get wealthier, fridges are among the first things people buy: in China, it took just a decade to get from a quarter of households having fridges to nearly nine in ten.
Presenter: Tim Harford
Producer: Ben Crighton
Editors: Richard Knight and Richard Vadon
(Image: Fully loaded shelves, Credit: Shutterstock)
Sources and related links
Dan Koeppel - Banana: The fate of the fruit that changed the world, Hudson Street Press, 2008
Tom Jackson - Chilled: How refrigeration changed the world and might do so again, Bloomsbury, 2015
Stephen Schlesinger - Bitter Fruit: The story of the American Coup in Guatemala