View Full Version : Do we need fridges?

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pat sommer
Mar 25th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Set a date, gobble up the goodies and clean out the fridge: see how long we can go without it.

Supermarket packaged veg in nitrogen is OLD and once unwrapped hasn't much life left. My veg box delivery -with dirt- keeps the week through with a bit of TLC (damp papertowel). I find fridges dry out most produce. I like nutmilks which I can make up from cupboard nutbutter but I would trust soymilk for 48hrs in a coolish room.

I made a point years ago to avoid creating leftovers and portion properly.
I admit that I am dependent on the fridge again but at least I can remember a time when it only held flatmates beer! It is all a question of lifestyle (and climate) and I won't go throwing stones -am guilty as hell when it comes to airmiles- so let me live peacefully in my glass-house....

May 3rd, 2007, 03:53 PM
I don't own a fridge. I don't even notice that I don't most of the time, maybe partly because I'm so used to it and it is not a problem. I own a plastic sofa. I don't have a bed, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, bidet, bin that I use for rubbish in my place, moisturizing cream, toothpaste, conditioner, bleach, washing powder, big mirror, a big table, landline phone, sky TV, Internet at home, washing line, i pod. I would like some of these, though :( Probably the Internet mostly.

May 5th, 2007, 05:04 AM
I only have one of those small, dorm-sized fridges, and I don't even need all the space in /that/. It only holds soy milk and some cold soup currently. I live in the southern United States, so there ARE some things that will not survive here without some form of chilling. When I move back north, though, I doubt I will really need a fridge at all. And yes, I can grocery shop everyday [I don't necessarily /need/ to, and I don't always (usually it's only a few times a week), but I live a block from an organic produce store].

May 5th, 2007, 08:38 PM
If we lived ‘naturally’ (with nature), would there be any need for refrigeration appliances other than for luxury (as in cooling foods to increase pleasure and convenience)?

Does ‘nature’ not rule that most foods (vegetables, fruits) should be consumed within just a few minutes of being harvested? Does ‘nature’ not state that we should only live in places where the foods we need can be grown all year round, thus eliminating any requirements for bulk harvesting and storage? By looking at Western disease rates and also at how rapidly the nutritional value of food depletes after it is harvested, it is easy to see that the ‘modern’ life, which involves controlling and refining nature, is not particularly healthy.

I try not to be dogmatic about nature, and defining what it is, but there is much to support the notion that we should only live in climates that provide food all year round straight from the earth and the trees and that it should be consumed very soon after being collected from source. What our reality is, however, is much removed from nature. We (vast majority) live in a synthetic world; we have been conditioned into living artificial lives and have distanced ourselves from the laws and benefits of nature. We are totally dependent upon others: farmers, shipping companies, shopkeepers, wholesalers, and so on. Most people not only have no idea about how to grow their own food but think that it would be impossible for them to do so! Is living in an apartment in the middle of a concrete jungle not a complete violation of nature? It most certainly is. Even houses with larders or basements are very rare. We are expected to purchase domestic electrical consumer goods, plug them into the wall, and always pay the electricity bill. And of course we must constantly rely on the electricity companies to continue to work 24/7 through all weathers and conditions and never fail to send us the power we need. Look how easily chaos breaks out when the power goes down for just a very short time! We truly are living in a prison without bars.

Here we are in our synthetic realm living ways drilled into us since our first days, and not even questioning them. Should we sacrifice our health and nature for convenience and for excessive transient pleasures? I don’t think we should. I think we should identify that what we do and how we live is, to the greater part, absolutely artificial, and strive to break free. Many of us here (being vegan) are free from much of this manufactured way of living, but still have a long way to go.

Nature and our health need to take priority. Getting to work on time needs to come second. But you have to go to work in order to make money to pay the bills!! Of course, and this is how we have been MANIPULATED into living. There are better ways and being as a sheep is not one of them.

The power structure and the social structure have a lot of answer for. These things are not God. They are not congruent with nature or optimum health. The Western (modern) way of living is an anathema.

I intend to break free (more so) very soon. But in the meantime I do need a fridge. I am looking to buy one at the moment (any recommendations appreciated, UK). I need one to stop my imported fruit from attracting flies. As a student of engineering I learnt how to calculate heat flow through materials and to/from the air. I learnt how to calculate the energy required to keep the temperature of a space, that is enclosed by certain materials, from rising above a certain value (with a specified external temperature). As the professor pointed out, we learn these things to be efficient and to maximize quality; anyone could just take a massive amount of insulation material and build a massive fridge, with a tiny food capacity, without doing any mathematics, and it would work fine! – That is the sort of comment that can only deter me from working as hard as I should with my studies!

I think a (suitably large) fridge could be made to operate at ~30W constant with ease. Such a fridge, in order to have decent food capacity, would need to have very thick insulation walls, and thus would require a lot of space to accommodate. But such a fridge could easily be powered by photo voltaic cells or stored human power. A typical human is capable of providing well over 200W through bicycle-type pedals. Therefore in order to power a fridge for a day (24 hours) ~4 hours of pedalling would be required (pedalling a pedal-powered energy storage device, that is). The pedals could be connected to an electrical generator (and electrical battery), a heavy flywheel, a mechanism to raise a heavy mass (to later be lowed by gravity to release the potential energy), an air compressor, a spring energy storage device, and so on. 4 or 5 hours of sustained pedalling would be too much for most people, so affixing a few hundred watts of power-generating PV cells to the roof would be a better idea.

May 6th, 2007, 02:05 PM
Does ‘nature’ not state that we should only live in places where the foods we need can be grown all year round, thus eliminating any requirements for bulk harvesting and storage?

Yeah. Damn Eskimos. It's all their fault.:p

May 6th, 2007, 02:53 PM
The Inuit migrated to their Northern location thousands of years ago. The climate of the Earth, also, tends to change dramatically every few thousand years. Hot becomes very cold and vice versa.

May 6th, 2007, 03:11 PM

Should I have bolded that?

May 6th, 2007, 03:20 PM
I would say that if you can live without one, then go for it!
But personally, I keep all of my food in the fridge/freezer, & I like things such as drinks to be icy cold-so I have love for the fridge. :D

May 6th, 2007, 07:28 PM
I live in an appartment, it's hard do keep prodcue ok for a few days, without a fridge.

Back when I lived in a house that had a good cellar, I could do without a fridge, and it sure showed on the electricity bill :)

May 7th, 2007, 08:54 AM
My friends live on an eco village style protest camp, they are vegan and dont have a fridge. In the summer, they keep soya marg etc in the shade and they say there is no problem.

May 7th, 2007, 12:47 PM
I'm entralled by those of you without a fridge. I would love to try this! But alas, my husband is not vegan as I am.

May 10th, 2007, 02:34 PM
In the summer, they keep soya marg etc in the shade and they say there is no problem.
I've left soya marge out of the fridge for a few hours several times recently (in the shade indoors) and it has liquified.

May 10th, 2007, 07:42 PM
I suppose if coinsky's friends live communally they may eat it up before it liquefies :D Probably the ideal method of fridgeless living.

May 14th, 2007, 07:10 AM
They did say that if they keep it inside one of the huts then it melts, but outside in deep shade its fine.... i guess most of us probably wouldn't go and keep it in the garden though!

May 24th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone living a fridge free life?

hey woody, sounds like a good idea to me.. its also quite possible to turn a normal cupboard into an insulated 'larder' - and even having something similar in the outside.. it all obviously depends on your situation and who you are living with but i think you have a good point there... :D

in my house we have a fridge which is no longer connected to the mains.. so its effectivly a larder.. its needs cleaning regulally but it keeps a lot cooler than your average cupboard..

take it easy


May 26th, 2007, 03:02 PM
I thought fridges which are not on electricity and are closed started to smell awfully :confused: ?
I have a built-in kitchen with a built-in broken fridge (cannot be repaired, unless you'd throw the whole kitchenette out...) and use it to store onions, rice, pasta and other staples, but I have to leave it open.

May 26th, 2007, 07:23 PM
Yep to keep the scrumpy cold in the summer

May 30th, 2007, 06:38 PM
I had resolved to resist placing postings in the forum that were not directly vegan related. However, please forgive me just once if I use this particular thread to have a self-indulgent wallow in nostalgia. :rolleyes:

I grew up on a farm in New Brunswick. I have a vivid memory of one winter in the 1940’s before the arrival of electrity.
My Uncle Bill took me on the horse drawn sled to the St. John River. Men with saws were busily working on the river cutting out blocks of ice.
Once our sled was loaded up we returned home and the blocks were stored in the icehouse with plentiful quantities of sawdust for insulation.
In the summertime an ice pick was used to break off a chunk of ice that was then brought into the kitchen. There it was placed in the bottom compartment of the cool box where it did an excellent job of keeping perishables fresh.

May 31st, 2007, 05:16 PM
My dad was also raised on a farm until he moved to the city in the 1920's. I asked him about life without all our modern conveniences and he replied:

We cut some ice in the winter [from a pond] and put it in blocks into the ice house, covered with sawdust (saved from sawing wood for the stove) to insulate it. We then put blocks of this ice in the cellar during the summer, and we kept things like dairy products in the cellar.

We did have a telephone on the farm. It was one of those units encased in a large wooden case; you see them in museums now. Our number was 7 ring 5; when it rang five times that meant the call was for us. To get the operator you picked up the receiver (the transmitter was fixed to the wall) and turned the crank.

What we didn't have: central heating (wood stove instead); running water(outside well and hand pump); flush toilets (outhouse with wood ashes and a shovel to use afterward); refrigerator or icebox (cellar with blocks of ice). When I was moved to New York City at 11 it took years before I accepted city life and stopped longing to return to the farm.

[In] NY City, in the late twenties, I lived in an apartment. Every day the iceman would call up -- to the third floor -- how much? My cousin would yell back: "twenty-five cents!" and the iceman would know how much ice to bring up. This ice would last until the next day.

white apple
Jun 10th, 2007, 06:21 PM
I lived without fridge for six months. I just hated to have a big, space consuming thing,, and it makes sound too. Not having fridge was OK. It wasn't very difficult..I just bought small amount of food and whatever i can consume quickly.. but now i have a very small fridge because It's better have one. I can buy enough food.. for a week, not a day.
But,, my fridge become empty sometimes, then I just plug it off.

Jun 12th, 2007, 04:45 PM
how would i keep my ice cold for my daquari's?

and out of season frozen veg in winter
and me soya icecream!!!!!

Jun 14th, 2007, 03:55 PM
You wouldn't need a fridge if you're raw... well maybe you would. Maybe we just need a small fridge ;)

Mr Flibble
Jun 14th, 2007, 05:05 PM
how would i keep my ice cold for my daquari's?

By keeping it in the celler ;)

Jun 14th, 2007, 08:09 PM
I wish I had a house with a cellar these body parts are cluttering my lounge up :D

Mr Flibble
Jun 14th, 2007, 09:37 PM
no, you need a patio ;)

Our cellar is going to be a home cinema soon :)