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Thread: Do we need fridges?

  1. #51
    pat sommer's Avatar
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    Default experiment without a fridge?

    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....
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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].

  4. #54
    Ratiocinator
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.
    Last edited by Ratiocinator; May 6th, 2007 at 11:03 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #55
    Yogini
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote Ratiocinator View Post
    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.

  6. #56
    Ratiocinator
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote Yogini View Post
    Should I have bolded that?

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.
    “We need to be the change we wish to see in the world”
    – Mahatma Gandhi

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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

  10. #60

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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

  11. #61
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

  12. #62
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote coinsky View Post
    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.
    Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything. - Floyd Dell

  13. #63
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I suppose if coinsky's friends live communally they may eat it up before it liquefies Probably the ideal method of fridgeless living.

  14. #64

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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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!

  15. #65
    kidturbo
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote Woody View Post

    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...

    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

    kid

  16. #66
    pavotrouge
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I thought fridges which are not on electricity and are closed started to smell awfully ?
    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.

  17. #67
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Yep to keep the scrumpy cold in the summer
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams

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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

    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.
    I may be ancient but I’m active, a bit like a volcano.

  19. #69
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

  20. #70
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    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.

  21. #71
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    how would i keep my ice cold for my daquari's?

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

  22. #72

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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    You wouldn't need a fridge if you're raw... well maybe you would. Maybe we just need a small fridge

  23. #73
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote onebigvegan View Post
    how would i keep my ice cold for my daquari's?
    By keeping it in the celler
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

  24. #74
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I wish I had a house with a cellar these body parts are cluttering my lounge up
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams

  25. #75
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    no, you need a patio

    Our cellar is going to be a home cinema soon
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

  26. #76
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    you can make a cool area by putting a container, something like a deep sink in a larger container put a lid on the container, fill the area between the two with water. the evaporation of the water will keep the deep sink cool...
    also peltier effect pumps can remove 50watts or more, i have a camping cool box that does this, in a house this could be wind or solar powered.... adding the two together you could get as much as 30degrees less than ambient...

    ps i second patio....

  27. #77
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    OMG, you're talking about your axe again aren't you!!!
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  28. #78
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    Wink Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote RedWellies View Post
    OMG, you're talking about your axe again aren't you!!!
    it's a fine axe! i think of it often!
    mind you, it's a bit rusty through lack of use

    anyone one remember finbar saunders?
    he'd be having a complete brake down with all this axe talk

    ps it was YOU redwellies that got me started, it's all your fault
    Last edited by onebigvegan; Jun 15th, 2007 at 01:11 AM. Reason: PS

  29. #79
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    It's funny but I have a trouble with keeping the food in the fridge (vs eating it all instantly).

  30. #80
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    We just went without a fridge for 6 months when the last one broke down, we just don't need one. The freezer on the other hand is indispensible as we pick wild fruits, sea kale etc in large quantities and keep them for eating or making smoothies out of season or making wine and drinks with.
    Silent but deadly :p

  31. #81
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    That's interesting - did you find you had to go shopping a lot more Hemlock, or did you have enough stuff in the garden etc to keep you going?

    I find things like salad spoil quite fast if not refrigerated (and they also did when we accidentally turned our fridge up/down so it wasn't cold enough ). I'm sure I could manage without one if I had to but I probably couldn't do the weekly veg box thing for instance.

  32. #82

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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I think we don't per se, though we all probably have one for convenience sake and for the fact that we cannot raise our own food anymore. It's a shame in a way... Our bodies evolved to eat foods highly fermented with millions and millions of more bacteria than we consume currently on average.

    This is why we have so many digestive/bowel disorders these days... Many have to take probiotics, etc.. I had a chronic problem where I lived and when I moved abroad and started to eat very natural, fermented foods, my problems went away. I even took probiotics and other synthetic stuff at home, all to very little or no avail.

  33. #83

    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I have lived without one in the past; we used to use an old milk churn to keep things cool.

    Most of the things I put in the fridge probably do not even need to be in there at all as the 'milk' I buy is from a none refrigerated aisle anyway. Even in a relatively hot country (unlike here) I am sure I would be able to make do with just a larder.

    My omni fiancé however probably would not be so pleased by the idea.

  34. #84
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I like a very cold drink once in a while, but I hardly ever go in the fridge... I think I would get myself a cool box, and buy some frozen peas if I needed to cool something.

    A giant 'wine cooler' type cool chamber can be made from an upside down terra cotta pot . The pot should be in the shade, preferably in a breeze, and continually supplied with enough water to soak the pot. Evaporation takes away heat. I haven't tried this yet... broke the last enormous terra cotta pot that came my way.
    Problematic is waking someone whom pretends to sleep.

  35. #85

    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    What an interesting idea, I will have to try that sometime!

    The last enormous terra cotta pot I had also ended up broken but that had more to do with my father parking a Land Rover on top of it than anything else.

  36. #86
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    what you could do is swap to a little caravanning fridge, smaller so less energy maybe? rather than one of those huge monstrosities :S
    Even the smallest person can change the course of the future

  37. #87

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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Those tiny mini fridges often have very bad insulation. I seen in a docu how in africa they made a hut with walls and a roof out of charcoal and let water run over it to cool it down. They could keep vegetables fresh like that before those where collected with a refrigerated truck to take them to market.

  38. #88
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    I only shop about once a month (2 1/2 hour round trip drive to grocery stores), and have fresh organic fruits and veggies delivered weekly. So I don't think I can live without my refrigerator. We also tend to cook a large meal and eat leftovers for several days. With a teenage boy, several friends and a toddler girl I know that it would be devastating to lose ours. It's funny that I am responding to this today because yesterday my husband ordered a new fan and motor for it. We even keep a spare one (unplugged) downstairs in case the tempermental newer one throws a fit. The older one is from about 1960 (not very energy efficient) and the new one is only 10 years old (guess that is getting a little old).

    When I was a docent for a local museum one of my jobs was to take tourists through an old victorian home, still in tact like the family abandoned it and left everything as is. This house had an addition put on in about the 1940's that included a modern kitchen, it had a wonderful wood/coal cookstove and a sink, full electricity, but no refrigerator. The house was built right up to the rock mountainside and they chisled out a really large hole in the rock, put a door on it and called it thier fridge, it was always cold in there, even when the temperature outside was 80 degrees.

    Unfortunately I do not have a rock mountainside out my back door. Maybe that's not unfortunate, I like my backyard.
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  39. #89
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    In my limited experience those very small fridges don't work too well, but I think even ordinary European fridges are generally small relative to US ones - on our recent hols over there we had two self-catering apartments and both had enormous fridges (even though one of them had no cooking equipment to speak of!). Of course, "small" doesn't necessarily mean energy-efficient.

  40. #90
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote harpy View Post
    . Of course, "small" doesn't necessarily mean energy-efficient.
    It does a bit, the more full a fridge is the more efficient it is, and as a smaller one is easier to fill makes sense it'd be more efficient.

  41. #91
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Yes, and other things being equal a smaller fridge must use less energy than a larger one - but they aren't necessarily equal.

    (I don't think I would have trouble filling a larger one given time, as mine always seems to be full of months-old items that need throwing away )

  42. #92
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Same here, trying to work through our open jars of only used once things.

  43. #93
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote Greenboy View Post
    Fridges are essential, where else would i keep my magnets ?
    LOL that made me giggle
    We all love animals. So why do we call some "pets" and others "dinner?" ~k.d. lang

  44. #94
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    i have had to live without a fridge and a freezer at one point and yes you kinda get used to it and 'work' round the fact you hav'nt got one but it is a lot easier with one!
    I no longer have a dryer or dishwasher as I thought I really can live without them, my toaster and microwave both broke and i havent replaced them and although I do missed them occasionally I do manage fine without them....so would I give up my fridge freezer and washing machine?? If they break I will let you know but untill then...Im keeping them!!!
    We all love animals. So why do we call some "pets" and others "dinner?" ~k.d. lang

  45. #95

    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    Quote fiamma View Post
    Do we need a fridge?
    Yes.
    agreed. there is middle ground between 'no fridge' and 'massive energy-hog typically sized American fridge'. and i'm a big fan of moderation in general; i don't think there's any need for going to one extreme or another, either attempting to completely shun modern conveniences or full-on buying into the outrageous overly-wasteful setups that are typical of most households. but that's just IMHO.

    I love modern life and I'm very much a city person; rather than giving up technology, I'm more interested in innovation, finding new possibilities for improving and powering modern technology in more sustainable eco-friendly ways. I believe it can be done, and that it's a worthwhile pursuit. (everything we have now was once thought to be "impossible", and yet we're still foolish enough to look at ideas today and think the same thing!) of course, I think part of that has to involve a shift in habits too, as well as infrastructure (comprehensive public transit in lieu of cars, urban renewal/decreasing sprawl, etc.), and re-thinking and being more reasonable about how much we really need. A combination of innovation and conservation, if you will.

    when i moved into my current apartment, the landlord had just got done renovating and didn't have a fridge in yet, so i told him not to worry about providing one, and i got a small under-the-counter fridge. it's the perfect size---i do find that as a vegan i don't need as much fridge space, but i do still need some.
    Last edited by made of sequins; Jan 24th, 2012 at 05:58 PM.

  46. #96
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    on the recent 'river cottage veg' series, hugh visited a japanese couple with an allotment who follow the shojin ryori method of cooking and eating. he was shocked that they had no fridge.

    they seemed to bring allotment produce home everyday and cook it fresh. no dairy either. they used miso which is fermented and they did use tofu so probably bought that fresh too.

    it does look more effort to gather and prep the food daily but if you have time, very satisfying. the other precept of shojin is that one gathers and prepares just enough for that meal or day so none is wasted.

    it inspired me and i got myself a couple of vegan japanese cookbooks following this practice - the recipes look very tasty.

  47. #97
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    Default Re: Do we need fridges?

    well we managed a few years without a freezer when ours broke and we were too lazy to go shopping for a new one but then the need for ice cubes became too strong so we had to buy one.... but i could never live without a fridge. i like to cook a big pot of whatever (soups, etc) enough to last a few days and keep it in the fridge so that i don't have to cook daily, and i also like salads and cold beer

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