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October 16, 2008

“No Fridge”

So, I have been living without a refrigerator for the past few weeks. And I buy vegetables once a week and cook at home every day. A few friends asked me how I manage to keep things fresh. The following pictures show how it went; I had taken the first picture on Monday when these vegetables were purchased. The second image is from Thursday; one of the carrots has gone bad, but most of them are all right. The third and fourth images have been taken on Sunday. How to do it is shown in images 5 and 6.

Day 1: Monday

Day 4: Thursday

Day 7: Sunday.

Solution: A wet cloth.

For the skeptics among us, please recall the local bhaji-waala… Do you remember any refrigerators lurking away in a corner of their shops? Oh yes, one very intelligent friend pointed out that they have these cooling units at their homes where they store the veggies. Very innovative; I presume the units are capable of storing some 20-30 kilos of vegetables, and the thela-waala runs a very profitable business by paying for electricity in their shanties. Dudes, ever notice the gunny bags and the big wicker baskets? Wonder why the bags are perennially wet, dark and not dry. Put one at home with a tomato or two in it and you would know why.

Several vegetables and fruits are naturally capable of staying fresh for at least a week on their own. They only need to be draped over with a wet cloth for the time period. I am not suggesting that one should replace their refrigerators. I am not a fanatic Greenpeace activist. However, I would prefer to use technology when nature may not work; like making ice for your Patiala peg :). I also believe in eating fresh vegetables, and absolutely hate the “fridge stink” that tends to stick onto veggies.

BTW, a wet cloth does not work for everything. For example cracked coconut, or ginger. I am sure there are ways to keep them fresh for a few days without the use of a refrigerator. When I find the method, I will post it promptly. In the meantime, I have found a possible solution for keeping milk fresh. Figure below:

Keeping milk fresh: The most popular approach at Shekhar’s farm.


1 Comment »

  1. We tried doing this at when we first shifted to Bangalore. We knew we’d have to buy a fridge sooner or later as we are non-veg, but thought let’s try to keep the veggies fresh without a fridge, until we buy the fridge (which we weren’t going to do for a month due to financial reasons). We bought two big air-tight plastic containers and started keeping vegetables in them. The first problem we faced was that the vegetables rotted very fast. We discovered that moisture was the problem, so after doing some searches on the net we started keeping them on newspaper which would absorb the moisture. This improved things but didn’t solve them. One more observation was that you need to monitor things everyday, and whenever something starts going bad, get it out else the rest will follow. Now after reading your post I realise moisture isn’t bad but excessive moisture is.

    Comment by Debamitro — March 3, 2009 @ 10:16

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