1811: a French confectioner named Nicolas Appert publishes The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances for Many Years. He discovers that if you boil your mutton and eggs in sealed glass jars, you can eat them much later. Napoleon, in person, gives him a prize and canned food is born.

Early 1970s: American schoolchildren are introduced to thermostabilization, rehydration, and freeze-drying via space food. Tang becomes an American staple and likewise, the Tang moustache.

1974: The National Food Processors Association examines a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a California home. Far from being just a rancid memory of food, the corn was, in fact, safe to eat, full of nutrients, and moreover, tasted just like freshly canned corn.

1986: The compact microwave is introduced into the family kitchen. Mothers around the nation proceed… More…