Living without a refrigerator!

Most of us cannot imagine life without a refrigerator. No cold water! Food going bad! No chocolates being stored! How is that possible?

Well, I’ve tried it now for two years and am not suffering very much… or at all, in fact. Initially, it took a bit of getting used to. Vegetables and fruits had to be bought almost every day, milk had to be boiled twice to make it last for two days, and an earthern pot had to be bought to have cool water in summer. And if we bought cheese or butter, it had to be consumed quickly, which only meant we bought smaller packets.

Guests sometimes complain that we don’t have cold water. Until they drink the earthern pot  water, with its unbeatable earthen taste. If we have people over for dinner, and food is left over, I just send it to someone else’s house to keep. But this is not a very good solution, since someone else requires to have a fridge! So gradually, one learns how to cook more accurate quantities. What about curd? I’ve figured that if we set it at night, it lasts not only the next day but also to the morning after. In summer, the trick is to half-submerge the curd bowl in cold earthern pot water. And if it starts going sour, make buttermilk, or other delicacies.

I live in the somewhat moderate climate of Mumbai, so I guess it is a bit easier than a place with extreme temperatures. But for a couple of months a year, the mercury in Mumbai does go to over 40oC, so perhaps a fridgeless existence could work elsewhere? At least it’s worth a try. I’m told that earthen fridges have been developed, using the millennia old ingenuity of the earthern pot’s cooling process.

But why go fridgeless? Many reasons. Saving energy helps reduce the need for more dams and power stations, which destroy the environment and displace people. It also means less cost(my monthly electricity bill has been cut by 30 per cent?).

Most fridges still use substances that cause ozone depletion, so one can do one’s bit to save the earth’s atmosphere.

Of course, one person doing all this makes little difference but imagine if all those reading this were to try it?