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Download Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man, by Mark Kurlansky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (326 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Kurlansky Narrator: Jon Van Ness Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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While working as a fur trapper in Labrador, Canada, Clarence Birdseye encountered an age-old problem: bad food and an unappealing, unhealthy diet. However, he observed that fresh vegetables wetted and left outside in the Arctic winds froze in a way that maintained their integrity after thawing. As a result, he developed his patented Birdseye freezing process and started the company that still bears his name. Birdseye forever changed the way we preserve, store, and distribute food, and the way we eat. 
Mark Kurlansky’s vibrant and affectionate narrative reveals Clarence Birdseye as a quintessential “can-do” American inventor—his other patents include an electric sunlamp, a harpoon gun to tag finback whales, and an improved incandescent lightbulb—and shows how the greatest of changes can come from the simplest of ideas and the unlikeliest of places.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joe | 2/18/2014

    " Mark Kurlansky wrote a book-within-a-book when he put together Birdseye; the author of Salt and Cod could not resist penning a new history of an object, Ice. We learn about the role ice has played in human culture, from the dawn of civilization, through the industrial revolution, and into modern times. It slowly went from an object of awe, to a luxury good, to an everyday convenience. Along the way, religious zealots pegged ice & refrigerators as machines working against the will of God, and consumers had to be convinced that frozen food was safe & healthy to eat. This fascinating tale is framed by the story of Clarence Birdseye, the eponomous father of the frozen food industry, whose inventions (ranging from belt freezers to heat lamps) are still in wide use today. He's an inspired and inspiring explorer, and his adventurous spirit leads to many episodes which Kurlansky delights in telling. This is not a biography in the traditional sense, but a focused history, following the course of a particular frigid industry through the life of a singularly bright and warm man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shannon Burrows | 2/18/2014

    " What a neat book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mark Edlund | 1/26/2014

    " I really enjoyed Kurlansky's historical look at salt so thought this would be just as interesting. It wasn't. Not because of the writing but because of the subject matter. Clarence Birdseye was an interesting man for his time and was quite curious about things (as the title suggests). His main claim to fame was perfecting the freezing of any and all types of food and then convincing Americans to eat them. He made a LOT of money doing this. He has an interesting Canadian connection when he spent several winters in Labrador doing research. I was troubled by his hunting (read, slaughter) of land and marine animals in the quest for hides, food or trophies. Not as good as Salt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andrea | 1/25/2014

    " Birdseye was definitely an interesting fellow, and the history of food preservation is an interesting topic to a food weenie like me. I just wish the book had focused more on the person and less on the process. In the end, I find myself agreeing with earlier reviewers who have commented that there just isn't enough "there" there. "

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