Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Refrigerators Hit The Big Time!

If you're an expert at something, you're familiar with the "tuned eye" phenomenon; i.e., if you're an expert on raising chinchillas, the word, "chinchilla" will jump out at you from where ever it is hiding on a page full of print.

I've gotten that way about the word "fridge" nowadays; so when I was taking my morning stroll through the internet news, the word leaped out at me, from the New York Times.

Hey, guess what!  It's about us!  (That would be all of us here.)  (And, if you're here via that article, welcome!)

It's a pretty good article- but... there are several places where radical anti-anti-fridge statements are allowed to just stand, unrebutted; never mind that they are flat dumb.

Like: “It’s silly not to have one,” she said, “considering what the alternative is: drinking up a gallon of milk in one day so it doesn’t spoil.”

Those of us who are living without fridges know how astonishingly uniformed stuff like that is.  No; we don't let milk spoil.  AND, no, we don't drink gallons of milk to prevent it.  Duh.

This is not the first big time coverage we've had, though- ever hear of The Economist?  Well.  They have an online magazine, More Intelligent Life, that picked up on all this in 2007 - and very nicely, too.

After Cranky Chicken's ambush a bit ago, I did say I was going to write a new fridge post, re-addressing some of her misconceptions.  :-p.  I haven't managed to get to it, of course, what with 35 below Zero, and broken arms, and whatnot.  But I will.

Meanwhile; do read Deanna's stuff; and PARTICULARLY - read the comments.   They are enlightening.  In particular- most of those rabid anti-antis have done no homework- or thinking; while the fridge-less among the commenters are without exception highly intelligent, and exquisitely well informed.  :-) (I am, of course, pure and unbiased.)

And; here is my original post, which most (if not all)  of this fridge kerfuffle can be tracked back to: 

You'll notice, if you read it, that OF COURSE you are going to change how you eat, in order to do this.  The point being- the changes are very easy; and generally also more healthy, and less expensive.

This may also be the place to mention that many of us fridgeless folk own freezers.  Like me.  We're not wacky luddites.  We're not even anti-cold storage.  My usual metaphor is, it's like a bandsaw, and a chainsaw.  The fact that I own one, but not the other means I need one- but not the other.  They're very different tools.

There are more than a couple posts on this blog on this topic; if you use the search function, and look for "fridge", you'll find most of them; and or, "refrigerator".

Here, in any case, are several: Back, sort of;  Happiness is a warm house (this one has a long bunch of responses to comments and questions); Consequences (more answers, mostly for Deanna); Snownapped/Kippers; Urban Foxfire/Unplugging the Fridge (which links to Vanessa's blog- a doubter who became a convert!); and Deep Summer (a specific no-fridge meat-keeping process).

That will keep you busy for a while.  Right now- I gotta go feed and water the guineas...


Oh, and- for the oldtimers here, you might be interested to see that I've finally joined the modern blogging world; and added stuff on the sidebar so you can subscribe to the Little Blog, and or share via all the myriad ways- take a look!  (And thanks to Beelar, for getting that done!)  There's also a "share" button after each post now.  Neatest thing since sliced bread!


Crunchy Chicken said...

Thank you for your ad hominem analysis. It really does wonders for your argument :)

Anonymous said...

BIG congrats on the NYT, even if it's a little goofy. Glad you're getting credit (sort of!) for actually kicking off this entire discussion. Nobody else was talking about it, as far as I can tell, before your famous "30 years" post.

Greenpa said...

Oh, Crunch. :-)

Something we should make clear, probably, for the uninitiated, is that you and I tease each other constantly- but it's REALLY all in fun.

I have the highest regard for La Crunch - and I'm pretty sure she knows it.

Regardless of her weird blind spot regarding refrigerators.

Crunchy Chicken said...

No, really. Roberto is right - you completely launched this discussion and, as I said in the comments in my post today, the more we talk about it, the more people consider the idea and think about trying it.

Since I get feedback from you and others who have no fridge, people learn how to do it and it's not so intimidating. I may not be turning off my fridge anytime soon, but I sure as hell know how to if I wanted to!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Oh, and "Refrigerator lust"? I'm suprised you didn't accuse me of being a fridge pimp :) I'm going to have to get me a hat with a giant feather.

AKfitknit said...

We have been living without a fridge since we moved into our cabin in April. In fact, we have been entirely without electricity. In the winter, it is easy... we simply put anything that can stay frozen in a plastic tub in our woodshed (to keep critters out), and anything that has to stay cold but unfrozen on shelves in our arctic entry. The summer was a little more difficult. We would buy meat and milk in small portions every day or every other day, and keep it in a cooler kept cold by purchased bags of ice. We are aided by the fact that it rarely gets above 75 degrees in the summer.

We have plans to build an ice house into the ground this summer, where we can make blocks of ice and store them, hopefully all summer if they are well packed in straw. We have found ice in the soil while excavating in late summer, so I think it should work. Then we could also store things that need to stay cold there, such as milk, and eliminate the entire cooler thing.

You are right, it is entirely possible to sucessfully not have a fridge, but it does take some compromises and changes to your lifestyle.

Zabetha said...

Hi, when I first heard this No Fridge thing I thought it was pretty farfetched. I live in the city and I don't find going shopping every day for groceries all that simple or painless. I also think I use my fridge pretty economically, I keep the freezer full (if there's not enough food in there I add plastic bottles of water) and enough space in the fridge part for good air flow. I pay attention to what's in there and rarely have stuff go bad on me, I use up all my leftovers and am grateful that the fridge allows me to have leftovers.

However. Then I remembered that last summer I spent three months living in a cabin in the woods that had no fridge and I did just fine. (short memory, eh?) My neighbour gave me space in her freezer and I kept a cooler on my porch. And I didn't have to shop every day, a once a week trip to town was good enough.

I bought dairy stuff in bulk and froze most of it, pulling out what I needed a day in advance. Occasionally I forgot and that meant black coffee or no cheese for a day, but it's amazing how quickly you get with the program after one day of living with the consequences of forgetfulness.

So I guess I could unplug my fridge in the city. But I also live with my son, DIL and grandkids, I don't think they could live without their fridge (we have separate kitchens). They just live such hectic lives that the lack of expensive conveniences would bring their whole show to a crashing halt. (They do manage without a car though :)

It all comes down to lifestyle I guess. Lots of city folks are leading lives that revolve around jobs that pay the bills but take up huge amounts of time and headspace. Everything else has to accommodate. It's going to take some fundamental changes in how we all make a living to allow fundamental changes in other aspects of lifestyle. IMNSHO.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the links of your frig-less experience, Greenpa. While I'm not ready to get rid of the frig just yet, I'm not against it. I probably will one day, even though it would take a lot of forethought and adjustment. (I live about 40 miles to the nearest store).

mistlur said...

I've been thinking about this... if you live in an apartment that is electrically heated (I've got electric radiators in my apartment) the only way to reduce your electric bill would be to lower indoor temperature. The freezer/fridge, TV, computer etc take the place of the electric radiators when running. So, low-energy appliances really make no sense in an electrically heated apartment or am i missing something?

Anonymous said...

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