Living without a Fridge

It’s hard to imagine life without a fridge, yet people easily manage without one all over the world. Our society is used to modern comforts such as a fridge, but with a little imagination you will soon realise that a fridge is not necessary for modern living, and you will barely notice it has gone. Living without a fridge will save you money on electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

How to Get by Without a Fridge

Before electricity was invented, households used cold cellars and pantries to store their food in. Food shopping was done on a more regular basis, and a lot of food was grown in the household, meaning it could often be kept in the soil until it was needed, or stored in clamps (ditches dug into the ground and lined with straw and soil to preserve root vegetables such as carrots). Being self-sufficient will enable you to adopt similar principles. By growing your own fruit and vegetables, you will have less need for a fridge. If you buy, or catch your own meat, you may want to look into methods of preserving it, for example, salting, curing or smoking it.

Plan your meals – don’t dig up more plants than you need, and only buy enough meat from the butcher for one or two meals. In the winter, you can store a lot of food outside to preserve it, however in the summer you will need to be diligent in order not to waste food.

Food Checklist

Follow these simple rules to ensure your food is always eaten and not wasted:

  • Use meat and dairy products on the same day you purchase them
  • Keep eggs in a clean, dry cupboard
  • Store vegetables in the ground where they grew, in clamps, or in the pantry for up to a week
  • Fruit may be stored in a fruit bowl and eaten by passers-by
  • Store potatoes in hessian sacks in a cool, dark place where they won’t get green spots
  • An abundance of food can be turned into chutneys and jams to preserve them

During the hot summer months you can use an old polystyrene box and fill it with ice, to keep dairy products cool for up to 24 hours. Make sure you keep the box in your pantry, which should be cool and dark.

The Transition from Fridge to Pantry

To keep you motivated the following points should help you remember why you are doing without your fridge:

  • Food consumed at body temperature is better for you than cold food
  • Pantries do not need cleaning and defrosting in the same way as fridges
  • Doing without a fridge will ensure you eat fresh food, which is better for you

By living without a fridge you will be more in touch with the food you eat. You will be much healthier as a result of eating fresher food, and you are less likely to waste food if you do not have a fridge to store it in (you will not buy it in the first place).