What It’s Like to Live Without a Refrigerator and How to Adapt
What It’s Like to Live Without a Refrigerator and How to Adapt by J.G. Martinez for The Organic Prepper
Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had food items that needed to be kept refrigerated, but did not have a refrigerator or even a cooler? Maybe some of you have experienced your fridge not working.
One of the most inconvenient things I’ve had to adapt to is not having the means to keep my food cold. In Venezuela, I had a couple of fridges and a chest freezer.
Why don’t you have a refrigerator?
The standard of living here is just different. With the cost of energy here, having a laundry machine is not worth it. This country has the potential for hydroelectric, but that would require energy transporting. And energy transporting is expensive because of the rough terrain.
The same goes for a refrigerator. Many rentals here now do not have refrigerators or laundry machines, or any appliances. Renting a place with furniture? I wish. The half-million Venezuelans who came by the payloads two years ago have already taken up residency in the better vacancies available.
Many of you probably do not have to worry about a lack of refrigeration in your current situation. Perhaps some of you have even acquired extra refrigerators and other supplies in the event that you should need them. Where I am, and in my current situation, that is not possible.
How do you manage without a refrigerator?
The grocery store is within walking distance, and I can walk to the Mom and Pop shop around the corner. Living without a fridge means I have to do that nearly every day if I buy foods that need refrigeration. I don’t want to have to do that, but I will do what is necessary to feed my boy and myself.
Back in the day, salt and sun-drying were the main preservation methods. Fish and beef meals were prepared using the salt and sun method. I have tasted brown beans with salt pork, and it’s something from another world, from days already long gone. I have not had anything like it since.
One way of getting by without a fridge is to use MARE’s (homemade, primitive style Meals ALMOST Ready to Eat). MARE’s are prepared by adding boiling water and cooking for a while. I’m trying some different recipes of my own.
Kiddo is a picky eater, so if he eats it, surely others will be able to eat it too. I’m not picky. My brother says I would eat a boiled stone with enough seasoning on it, and ask for seconds. Charming, isn’t it?
Why don’t you buy a refrigerator?
We have been living without a fridge or a freezer for 2.5 years. Many people are probably asking, “How in the world can you do that?” We have had to adapt, we had no other choice but to adapt.
I have no plans on staying here, I am going back, and I hope to make it soon. Installing an appliance now would be a waste of money, and if I were to do that, my rent would go up! If I were to purchase a fridge, I would have to sell it, or leave it here, taking a loss. I do not want to do that. We have the minimum comforts we need until we return home.
There have been times I craved a cold beer during the summer. So, I walked to the corner shop. A bit of an indulgence, but well worth it.
Not having a refrigerator has given me time to conceptualize and design something that would be better suited to a nomadic lifestyle. That’s a good thing. You know me, I love to experiment.
Have you found a way to keep things cool?
Kiddo and I found a cool place in the hallway, in front of our room. Everything kept there, in containers, stays moderately fresh during the winters. 14-19 Celsius. I’d say that’s reasonably chilly. We call that small little place the “fridge.”