TOEFL Readings 3
Before the mid-nineteenth century, people in the United States ate most foods only
in season. Drying, smoking, and salting could preserve meat for a short time, but the availability of fresh meat, like that of fresh milk, was very limited; there was no way to
Line prevent spoilage. But in 1810 a French inventor named Nicolas Appert developed the
(5) cooking-and-sealing process of canning. And in the 1850's an American named Gail
Borden developed a means of condensing and preserving milk. Canned goods and
condensed milk became more common during the 1860's, but supplies remained low
because cans had to be made by hand. By 1880, however, inventors had fashioned
stamping and soldering machines that mass-produced cans from tinplate. Suddenly all
(10) kinds of food could be preserved and bought at all times of the year.
Other trends and inventions had also helped make it possible for Americans to vary
their daily diets. Growing urban populations created demand that encouraged fruit and
vegetable farmers to raise more produce. Railroad refrigerator cars enabled growers
and meat packers to ship perishables great distances and to preserve them for longer
(15) periods. Thus, by the 1890's, northern city dwellers could enjoy southern and western strawberries, grapes, and tomatoes, previously available for a month at most, for up to
six months of the year. In addition, increased use of iceboxes enabled families to store perishables. An easy means of producing ice commercially had been invented in the
1870's, and by 1900 the nation had more than two thousand commercial ice plants,
(20) most of which made home deliveries. The icebox became a fixture in most homes and remained so until the mechanized refrigerator replaced it in the 1920's and 1930's.
Almost everyone now had a more diversified diet. Some people continued to eat
mainly foods that were heavy in starches or carbohydrates, and not everyone could
afford meat. Nevertheless, many families could take advantage of previously
(25) unavailable fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to achieve more varied fare.
20. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) Causes of food spoilage
(B) Commercial production of ice
(C) Inventions that led to changes in the American diet
(D) Population movements in the nineteenth century
21. The phrase “in season” in line 2 refers to
(A) a kind of weather
(B) a particular time of year
(C) an official schedule
(D) a method of flavoring food
22. The word “prevent” in line 4 is closest in meaning to
23. During the 1860's, canned food products were
(A) unavailable in rural areas
(B) shipped in refrigerator cars
(C) available in limited quantities
(D) a staple part of the American diet
24. It can be inferred that railroad refrigerator cars came into use
(A) before 1860
(B) before 1890
(C) after 1900
(D) after 1920
25. The word “them ” in line 14 refers to
(A) refrigerator cars
26. The word “fixture” in line 20 is closest in meaning to
(A) luxury item
(C) commonplace object
(D) mechanical device
27. The author implies that in the 1920's and 1930's home deliveries of ice
(A) decreased in number
(B) were on an irregular schedule
(C) increased in cost
(D) occurred only in the summer
28. The word “Nevertheless” in line 24 is closest in meaning to
29. Which of the following types of food preservation was NOT mentioned in the passage?
(C) Cold storage
(D) Chemical additives
30. Which of the following statements is supported by the passage?
(A) Tin cans and iceboxes helped to make many foods more widely available.
(B) Commercial ice factories were developed by railroad owners.
(C) Most farmers in the United States raised only fruits and vegetables.
(D) People who lived in cities demanded home delivery of foods.
20. C 21. B 22. B 23. C 24. B 25. B 26. C 27. A 28. D 29. D 30. A