Dry Ice Ice, Baby!
If you’ve ever ordered a truLOCAL box before, you know that your delicious meats are shipped frozen, with dry ice. And if you’ve never ordered a truLOCAL box before – well, our delicious meats are shipped frozen, with dry ice. But aside from being a cool science experiment when we were kids, what is dry ice exactly?
Dry ice is carbon dioxide in its frozen/solid form. Unlike water, which freezes at 0°C/32°F forming your typical “wet” ice, carbon dioxide doesn’t solidify until it reaches a temperature of -79°C/-109°F. It’s a huge difference in temperature, and it makes dry ice dangerous to the touch – the extreme cold can cause a burning sensation/frostbite if handled with bare hands. If you do happen to come into direct contact with dry ice – immediately warm the affected area, and ensure it’s not exposed to further cold.
Dry ice doesn’t melt the same way that regular ice does. When regular ice warms above 0°C/32°F, it turns back to water – and can leave quite the mess! Dry ice, when exposed to oxygen, will dissipate into its gas form – no clean up required!
Dry ice is most commonly used for food preservation, and for packaging items that must remain frozen. However, one of its coolest applications is making fog. When dry ice is placed in water, it creates a dense, hanging fog – which is great for things like theater productions or haunted houses. It can also be used as bait to trap mosquitos, bedbugs or other pests – they’re naturally attracted to carbon dioxide!
What can you do when your truLOCAL box arrives with dry ice inside?
- Handle it with care – grab an oven mitt or a gardening glove to manoeuver the contents of your box, without coming into direct contact with the dry ice.
- Drop a piece of the dry ice in water to see the fog effects in person – bonus points if you put it on your porch around Hallowe’en!
- Place the bag of dry ice outside for it to dissipate on its own – once the ice is completely gone from the bag, the bag can be thrown out.