View Full Version : Do we need fridges?

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Mar 10th, 2007, 06:59 PM
This occurred to me the other day. Since going vegan nothing that i consume needs to go in the fridge or freezer. Sure it's nice to have a cold beer and to keep things fresher for a bit longer but with no milk or cheese etc. any more, why would i need a fridge? And they must use a lot of energy and therefore money being on all day, every day. When i eventually get a place of my own i really don't think i'll be shelling out for a fridge/freezer.

Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone living a fridge free life?

Mar 10th, 2007, 07:03 PM
Nothing you buy needs to go in a fridge?

Personally, I keep loads in the fridge. My vegan margarine, opened soy milks/rice milks, vegetables, leftovers, veggie burgers, tofu, etc. And my freezer contains left overs, frozen pizzas I made, bread, vegan ice cream...

Mar 10th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Yeah it all depends on what you eat and how you structure your eating. It is useful having a fridge but from an environmental and economic point of view i'm not sure usefulness is enough of a reason to have one, for me anyway.

Mar 10th, 2007, 07:24 PM
Do we need a fridge?

Mar 10th, 2007, 07:44 PM
I'd be lost without my fridge. I keep my soya milk, most of my veggies, soya cheese, fruit, dairy free margerine and my hummus in there, to name a few.
But yeah if you don't really use one, it doesn't seem worthwhile hanging onto one for the sake of it.

Mar 10th, 2007, 08:29 PM
Stezzy - why do you have dairy?

Myself - I'd loose soymilk, salad ingredients (I put them together out of different fruits + veggies), frozen cooking vegetables, tatortots (also frozen), ice for my lemonade :), etc. I can only go to the store once a week, and some things do go bad rather quickly.

Mar 10th, 2007, 09:13 PM
Went along time without a fridge, if you don't use frozen food/ice you can live without one, veg just goes off quicker but you just have to eat stuff before it wastes.

Mar 10th, 2007, 09:28 PM
i used to store my foods in the little room between my windows. in copenhagen, old apartments have double-layered windows, with about 15 centimetres between, and you can open them seperately, and it was always cool in there, so i used it as a storing room for my foods for quite a while. that wasn't really cause we didn't have a fridge, but the rest of the people there, didn't clean, so i didn't feel like leaving my nice,fresh foods in a fridge with meaty fluids. eeew. oh yeah, and it was more economical, as the other people always ate my nice, vegan , organic foods, but never bothered to buy anything themselves. <-- a bit off topic, but a good story!:)

Mar 10th, 2007, 09:42 PM
Stezzy - why do you have dairy?

They don't have dairy.

They said dairy free margarine.

Mar 10th, 2007, 10:38 PM
My mum sometimes has thoughts of living in a little cottage in the woods with no electricity, or in a gypsy caravan, or somewhere else that's remote and 'simple'. She wouldn't like it really and she likes hot baths far too much, but we've had a few conversations about various modern inventions and their merits/problems, including the fridge.

She said that her grandmother coped without one, so why couldn't she!?
Good point really. If you have a cold cupboard for storing veg and soya milk and things in and are careful to buy/dig up only what you need, then I expect you could cope without a fridge. If you're partial to swedish glace though like me, then too much of a sacrifice :)

Mar 10th, 2007, 10:47 PM
I had to go without a fridge for a month when we were between housemates...it was horrible, no ice-cream, we couldn't keep leftovers, no cold drinks and ice blocks (it was summer) and any recipes that required ingredients to be chilled couldn't be done. All your vegies go bad earlier as well. I think it depends though how important ice-cream is to your diet. It can be done, but it's not pleasant and it scars you for life. We (me and housemate) were filling in a survey sometime after that experience and the question was 'what is the most important kitchen item?' We both wrote fridge.

Mar 10th, 2007, 11:50 PM
If you had a cool pantry it might be possible to live well without a fridge. You'd have to kiss goodbye to some vegan staples: soya, margarine etc. It would make life a lot more difficult. You'd have to buy food as you need it, and store up on pulses. Perhaps you could rely more on foods which can be preserved without refrigeration, such as pickles. That wouldn't be much fun though!

Mar 11th, 2007, 12:24 AM
I'd lose a lot of produce without cool storage to extend it's life. It's just me here - a head of lettuce is lucky if it gets all eaten up before wilting beyond recognizability. Without the fridge it would certainly go to waste. That's not cool.

Mar 11th, 2007, 12:41 AM
They don't have dairy.

They said dairy free margarine.

I must be going blind. I just misread a question a friend sent me on chat too. :o

Mar 11th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Yes, you could survive without a fridge but only really if you had a larder or similar. Also you would probably have to shop more frequently. It wouldn't be so easy in the summer though :eek:
It really all depends on what sort of foods you consume.

Mar 11th, 2007, 06:58 PM
It really all depends on what sort of foods you consume.

Quite true.
If you lived on fresh veggies/fruit/legumes exclusively, shopped for them every day at the market, the only refine product you ate was bread...in short, lived like someone 200 years ago..it shouldn't be a problem.
From an ecological and energy-saving point of view, it might be the best option, but then again, who has the time/means to live like that in this day and age?

Mar 11th, 2007, 07:57 PM
We don't really need a fridge to be honest because we only have a couple of items in it as a rule - we can't quite make that fridge free step.
We don't tend to keep food hanging about for long.

Mar 11th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Why are people talking about ice cream? That goes in the freezer not the fridge:rolleyes:

Mar 12th, 2007, 12:01 AM
I think that a freezer is a fridge by extension. If you don't need a fridge, why do you need a freezer?

Mar 12th, 2007, 12:24 AM
my flatmates practically live off ready made frozen food, some of it cooked and then frozen by their moms. they hardly ever have anything fresh. i think if they didn't use milk, they wouldn't need a fridge :D

Mar 12th, 2007, 12:57 AM
:pyou can have the need for freezing stuff, but not for cooling.. freezing gives food a much longer life, than cooling. so i think that a feezer would be handy, evenwithout cooling needs. also,if you live at a farm and can go out every day and find fresh produce, you don't need to storeit in the fridge. but it is quite nice, to be able to freeze the leftovers, when the season is over!:) that said, i love my fridge, and it's always full. am i the only one here, who has ten different open jars of jam, olives, flaxseed oil, margarine, pickled food, mayonnaise, spreads, mustard, sushi gari and so on? i think i would be able to live without my fridge, but it would be freaking boring! and i like my soymilk cold!:p

Mar 12th, 2007, 04:16 AM
am i the only one here, who has ten different open jars of jam, olives, flaxseed oil, margarine, pickled food, mayonnaise, spreads, mustard, sushi gari and so on? i think i would be able to live without my fridge, but it would be freaking boring! and i like my soymilk cold!:p

Jam, mustard and anything pickled shouldn't need refrigerating, I doubt flaxseed oil does either and suspect that vegan mayonnaise and margarine would probably be ok. Olives can be kept in brine.

Mar 12th, 2007, 04:54 AM
If they don't need to be in the fridge, why is there REFRIGERATE AFTER OPENING all over the labels? Flaxseed oil needs to refrigerated to prevent it from going rancid (which happens easily). Margarine would melt into oil on the countertop (at least in my house).

Mar 12th, 2007, 06:29 AM
if you eat whole foods like vegetables, many don't need to be refrigerated, but it keeps them from going bad quicker.
if you consume, in my opinion gross things, like soymilk, soycheeses and all other extremely processed soy foods, yes, by all means refrigerate them. there's absolutely no natural live enzymes protecting it from parishing in a day, unlike with raw fruits and veggies, which will last longer than a pasteurized non-dairy milk and cheese.

Mar 12th, 2007, 06:58 AM
I worked on a guest ranch in Calgary once, and one of the wranglers told me how years ago, the people there would dig a deep hole every winter, fill it with snow and board it up (he described in more detail but I forget), and it managed to stay cold all summer! So it was great for a refrigerator. I wonder what they did in warm climates though?