In a recent post (Pipes Under the Garden) I cast doubt on whether as many people need fridges as own them. In the comments, several people encouraged me to explain why I have it in for fridges. It comes in two parts. Here, dedicated to
is part one.
* * *
We’ll begin with exceptions because, of course, there are many;
people who live in very hot places,
people who need to keep medicines cool,
who live far from towns and cities or
who grow so much of their own food that freezing makes sensible sense.
(Salted runner beans aren’t pleasant).
It may be that nearly everyone who reads this blog is an exception; it’s certainly possible. But exceptions are not the point. Of those who live in towns or cities where the climate is temperate - of these - the majority don’t need fridges or freezers.
Here’s a list of things which don’t need to be in a fridge. (Don’t think of exceptions - think of the point I’m making.)
Lettuce and salads of any kind
Food to be eaten today
Food left over from yesterday
Most foods which will be eaten tomorrow
Nearly always, people say
‘But what about milk?’.
Milk can be a problem in summer - but with the bottle in a bowl of cold water and a damp cloth to draw the water up and over, evaporation takes the warmth away and the milk will stay fresh long enough to use.
Why do people need cars?
Often because of the ‘weekly shop’.
Why do people go to large stores out of their own areas and shop once a week, instead of buying things as they go along?
Because local shops are closing.
Why are local shops closing?
Because people shop weekly in large stores.
Why, again, do people shop in big out-of-the-area-stores?
Because prices are cheaper there.
Why are prices cheaper there?
Because local stores have to make up for not selling enough goods by pricing the ones they do sell high.
Why is turn-over low?
Because people do a weekly shop in large stores.
How are people able to buy lots of perishable goods so many days before they’re planning to use them?
Because they have fridges and freezers.
Why do people buy so many things at once, often more than they need?
- because the fridge is there to fill.
It looks silly with nothing in it.
It’s a habit.
How do people bring home their shopping when they buy so much in bulk?
In a car, that’s how.
What would people miss if they didn’t have cars?
Some would miss many things . . .
. . . but for others, it would mainly be that they couldn’t do a weekly shop. Buses would take them to work and back - but not back from the store with a mountain of goods.
Fewer fridges - fewer cars; less energy used, a slower consumption of finite resources like metal and plastics and oil and . . . Don’t you think that sounds good?