Is it worth blowing the AC on our cold cuts and frozen foods from the grocery store?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

We live in Florida, about 5 miles from our grocery store. When we buy cold cuts
or frozen foods, we go directly home because of the 90-degree heat. My wife seems
to think that putting all of this stuff in the front seat directly in front of
the air-conditioner vent will keep it cold. I think the car's air will warm up
these items, because the air coming out of the vents is not as cold as the
refrigerated and frozen foods. I think the trunk is a better place for these
items. What do you think? -- Richard

TOM: Oh, yeah, Richard! The trunk -- a closed, uninsulated metal box where it's
175 degrees -- is a great place for your frozen foods!

RAY: We have to side with your wife, here, Richard. An air conditioner, in good
working order, should put out air at a temperature of about 40-45 degrees. And
while it's true that 40-degree air won't keep frozen food frozen, it will slow
down the thawing process. And that's what you want.

TOM: Of course, if it's really just a 5-mile drive home, it hardly matters. I
suspect you're really upset, Richard, because she's making you ride in the back
while the frozen TV dinners get to sit up front.

RAY: If this is really a big concern for you guys, you can always buy a camping-
style cooler. When you do your shopping, spend an extra buck and buy a bag of
ice, dump the food in the cooler and pour the ice over the top of it. Then you
can take the scenic route home with you riding up front, Richard, and the frozen
Sezhuan prune appetizers in the back where they belong.

?(C) 1999 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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