Monday, February 13, 2012

Choosing a Bar Fridge for a Family

When Eug and I moved to Cape Town, we had no appliances.

I suggested that we try a bar fridge and deep freeze rather than a fridge freezer. A chest freezer allows us to buy staples in bulk. A small fridge seemed like an interesting way to lessen food waste, energy use, and the length of time between buying something and eating it.

We're not all the way to doing without a fridge, but there's a whole subset of the sustainability movement who are. Who knew? They argue that, if every family in the world had a fridge, global warming would be even more terrifying than it is now. I find that argument compelling, even as I am unsure on how to live without a chest freezer or a car in a city like Cape Town- that is, one either has to buy staples occasionally, and store them in a deep freeze (at least during summer), or spend a huge amount of time and money buying in small quantities and storing (in this scenario, baking bread and eating pasta and rice might be replaced with carb or non-carb alternatives that I don't really know about yet). So cities are just not set up for people to do without a fridge.

Our experience with a small bar fridge has been really good. I've had to think about how to finish everything in the fridge, and there's no space for getting a lot of condiments. Both these things are good, I think. I find myself carefully figuring out how to finish everything in the fridge over the course of the week, so that there's space for fresh fruit and vegetables. I'm not tempted to buy three different kinds of yoghurt and cheese.

Anyway, so here's my plug for a bar fridge (if your fridge breaks).
  1. It is cheaper to buy.
  2. It uses a little less energy.
  3. It uses less space.
  4. It helps me eat the way I'd like to eat- that is, it helps me to eat fresh, from scratch meals and helps prevent food waste. 

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