How is it possible?
You may think living without a fridge would be close to impossible, but it’s not as far from reality as you might think. With a little planning, change in perspective and small changes in diet, you too can survive and thrive without a fridge.
Items you may have thought need refrigeration do not
There are so many items that don’t need to be in a fridge at all. There are probably some in your fridge right now!
Some of those items include:
Tomatoes, butter, honey, fresh herbs, different condiments such as ketchup and soy sauce, fruits, garlic and onions (they start to sprout if kept in the fridge as the cold temperatures simulate winter conditions), and greens with stems (they will keep for a much longer time if the stems are kept submerged in water).
Why would I want to live without a fridge?
Fridges use an average of 427kWh of energy per year. Unlike other domestic electricity users, cold appliances need to be on around the clock and eat up a large part of your energy bills. The average running cost of a fridge per year can be between £39 to £52, and over the years, this really adds up. Not using a fridge could save you a good chunk of money and also reduce your dependence on power companies. Not to mention, reduce your carbon footprint.
Another benefit of not using a fridge is unlocking the flavours within your food that using a fridge would diminish. Part of the reason for this could be attributed to the volatility of aromatic molecules, these would be locked away by the colder temperatures of a fridge and prevent the smells from being released. Different flavours of salty, bitter, sweet, and sour are also stronger during warmer temperature conditions. Additionally, any fats in your food such as in cheeses can be more flavourful at warmer temperatures as they would change to a liquid state and distribute evenly throughout the food.
Along with this, food eaten at room temperature is better for your body, it does not shock your internal organs as it is a closer temperature to them. Eating colder foods has been shown to cause poor blood circulation in the gut which leads to indigestion as well as lead to stomach irritation.
What about food safety?
Of course, foods such as meat, dairy and fish are subject to food safety concerns. The best thing to do is to either avoid them if you can or cook them as soon as you buy them and not keep any leftovers. Other foods such as eggs can be kept at room temperature for between 1-3 weeks. Milk should be consumed within a few hours of being out of refrigeration.
Eating local, seasonal food is the best way to ensure the freshness of your food. Going to your local fruit market is best as these foods have likely not been refrigerated before and will therefore last longer. Seasonal foods are also likely to have fewer chemicals and be richer in nutrients and are often cheaper! As well as being delicious, it is also more sustainable, as the foods wouldn’t have travelled a long way to get to you.
Preserving food without a fridge
There are many ways to preserve food for longer without needed to use a fridge, some of them are:
- Cold smoking
- Making jams
So why not try it?
Try it out for a month and you could be surprised about how this small change can lead to other benefits in your life! You might even find you could swap to a smaller fridge.