A few weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the eastern coastline. Citizens were bracing for what was being touted as a “once in a century storm.” As a result, preparation tips began circulating through social media feeds. One, in particular, that seemed to gain some traction was the idea of freezing a cup of water, placing a quarter on top of that frozen water, and placing it in your freezer.
Are you perplexed by this tip? If you didn’t read the follow-up explanations, this probably seemed like a far-fetched idea that was really just clickbait. Rather than being clickbait, however, the idea is pretty clever.
Here’s the idea. In a natural disaster like Hurricane Matthew, lots of people are displaced from their homes as they wait out the storm. During storms like this, there is a great likelihood that the power will be disrupted. Depending on how long your power is out, the food in your freezer could thaw out. Depending on how long you are displaced from your home, your food could refreeze when the power comes back on. This is the where the quarter and the ice come in. If the power goes out and causes your frozen foods to thaw, the frozen water will also thaw and the quarter will sink to the bottom. This can serve as a rudimentary test to see if your food has thawed out and been refrozen. It can also inform you as to whether or not you should throw out that food.
This tip can help you avoid spoiled foods masquerading as preserved food and give you the information you need when recovering from a storm.