You may recall our glowing review of Petal, the frozen trash can. I tested it, loved it, felt more deep affection than one should feel for a trash can, and grudgingly shipped back the sample model. Then I returned to emptying my food waste more than once every two weeks. Fruit flies reappeared. I counted the days until my new Petal would arrive in January, when preordered models ship.
Alas, that day has been postponed. Petal has pushed freeze, stopping production to free up supply chain space for the freezers needed to store hundreds of millions of vaccines. (Both Pfizer and Moderna are producing RNA-based vaccines, which need to be kept extremely cold at -70 and -20 degrees C, respectively.)
Just two months ago, Petal announced a partnership with appliance-maker Danby as its sole authorized manufacturer. That was a lifetime ago: In the interim, we elected a new president, pharmaceutical companies declared successful trial results for subzero vaccines, and two weeks ago, Danby announced a new line of four ultra low-temperature freezers.
“We are pulling out all the stops. Its a top priority of the company,” said Jim Estill, CEO of Danby, in a statement. “A vaccine is no good if it can’t be distributed and stored.”