If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Atlantic)   Why do Americans have such large refrigerators?   (theatlantic.com) divider line 188
    More: Interesting, Americans, shelf lives, sustainable growth, Boston Scientific, refrigerators, family-owned  
•       •       •

13312 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Oct 2013 at 3:25 PM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



188 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-10-06 04:38:11 PM

Tillmaster: I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances


(This explanation may contain errors, but it made a lot of sense. Corrections welcome.)

In the early days of electricity, light bulb design and manufacturing was much less advanced. This meant that if you tried to run a light bulb at 220V, most of them burned out far too quickly to be useful. So the home electric service pioneers set the voltage at ~110V, so that ordinary home consumers could use light bulbs that lasted for months instead of weeks.

Later, when Europe started setting up electricity distribution, the light bulb manufacturing problems were mostly gone. Since they could run their lights at ~220V, they ran household voltage at 220V from the start. The USA and Canada couldn't switch voltages because they had a large installed base of people running ~110V, and they didn't want to cause a Flag Day for this large installed base. Thanks to bad tech in the beginning, we've got a system that's less efficient than it could be. *sigh*.
 
2013-10-06 04:43:31 PM
Because we deserve it.
 
2013-10-06 04:53:57 PM

YoOjo: You know how in every TV thread there's that guy who says he doesn't have a TV?
*coughs*
I don't have a refrigerator or a freezer.
I don't eat out much and I don't spend hours cooking non-frozen non-ready meals. I eat fresh veg and pulses mainly, all of which I can keep unrefrigerated.
I don't eat dairy, don't take milk in my coffee and don't cook too much and freeze the leftovers.


Uh.

How?
 
2013-10-06 04:57:31 PM

Delay: After grad school I lived in Germany and there refrigerators are pretty tiny and almost never used except for chilling wine and beer.


This seems odd to me. Are Germans unfamiliar with the concept of "leftovers"? If you make a large dish of $WHATEVER , you can store the bits you didn't eat in the refrigerator, and then heat them up later, so you can cook once and eat for 2 or 3 meals. (OK, certain whiny people might get bored with eating the same thing 2 or 3 nights in a row, but cooking every night? Ain't nobody got time fo 'dat.)
 
2013-10-06 04:59:27 PM

iron de havilland: YoOjo: You know how in every TV thread there's that guy who says he doesn't have a TV?
*coughs*
I don't have a refrigerator or a freezer.
I don't eat out much and I don't spend hours cooking non-frozen non-ready meals. I eat fresh veg and pulses mainly, all of which I can keep unrefrigerated.
I don't eat dairy, don't take milk in my coffee and don't cook too much and freeze the leftovers.

Uh.

How?


He does cook too much, so he doesn't freeze the leftovers that he doesn't have.
 
2013-10-06 04:59:47 PM
Weird, as all of my gf's friends and relatives in Mexico, have the same exact sized refrigerators as us 'muricans possess.  Same as w/ my Canadian friends.

I get non-perishables once every 3 weeks (no need to refrigerate), and fresh produce and perishables every 7-10 days.  There's not a farmers market open every day and the fresh produce at the supermarkets doesn't always have the best shelf life.

/usually cook at least 6 meals per week from scratch.
// EBSB (exceptionally boring story, bro).
 
2013-10-06 05:01:54 PM
Every low-flow toilet I have challenged has failed
 
2013-10-06 05:10:09 PM

trappedspirit: Every low-flow toilet I have challenged has failed


Unless you take a dump every time you use the can- low flow toilets can save a lot of water.
 
2013-10-06 05:12:03 PM
C'mon Farkers. You are slacking.
s14.postimg.org
 
2013-10-06 05:13:41 PM
Also, I need a place to store my meatcakes.
 
2013-10-06 05:16:05 PM

YoOjo: I don't eat dairy, don't take milk in my coffee and don't cook too much and freeze the leftovers.


Having leftovers does  not mean you cook "too much"; it could just mean that you are efficient.

I haven't baked bread for awhile, but when I would I would make four loves at once and freeze three of them. Why? Because making four at once was essentially exactly the same amount of effort and just about 1hr of sitting-around time more time than baking 1, and considering that one loaf has about 5 hours of sitting around time it's something that would have been hard to do during the week, or weekend-to-weekend. So I would bake multiple loaves on the weekend and then would have them later in the week.
 
2013-10-06 05:19:32 PM

calbert: /closely related is the effect of having to flush a low-flow toilet more than once to remove solid waste


Is that why my newer low-flow toilet has two flush options?  Because the originals couldn't quite get it all down? (seems like an error in product testing...what a strange job that would be...)
 
2013-10-06 05:21:19 PM
Because we're fat?
 
2013-10-06 05:28:00 PM

sendtodave:

He does cook too much, so he doesn't freeze the leftovers that he doesn't have.

Yes.

evaned:

Having leftovers does  not mean you cook "too much"; it could just mean that you are efficient.

I'm super-efficient, I only cook what I can eat there and then though, which is part of the reason I'm the right weight now, I used to cook enough enchiladas for a family thinking, like you, that I'd freeze them. I ate them there and then. I'm wired that way so I guess that's another reason for no fridge, less food in the house singing siren songs.

Delay:  Since this thread is about why Americans waste energy on large refrigerators can you tell the Farkers what you do that skips all that.


?
I have no idea what I do that saves power. I hold my breath a lot when I'm painting or drawing, does that count?
 
2013-10-06 05:30:34 PM
This article brought to you by a man without three teenaged sons.
 
2013-10-06 05:39:55 PM
This article is absurd. I mean, how many Americans only have one fridge?
 
2013-10-06 05:48:05 PM
Because we have room for them in our homes.
 
2013-10-06 05:48:59 PM
what I want to know is why does an ice maker go out after only a few months of buying a new fridge.

/I had both 6.20 side by side in the kitchen waiting for the temperature to stabilize, nice having two full size fridges in there.
//store dry goods in the garage secondary now.
///still refusing to get an icebox
 
2013-10-06 05:53:13 PM

Majick Thise: A fair portion of the electronics usage can be cut by turning off power at the surge protector Almost every gizmo uses power in standby mode these days. Assuming you don't care about the clock on these items. Also if necessary you can buy a remote control plugin to do this if your surge isn't easily accessible, this thing probably does use some power but far less than all the gear you just turned off.


Standby power is typically less than 1W. If you turned off everything at the switch every time, you might save a few dollars per year. It isn't anything to be concerned about.
 
2013-10-06 05:55:47 PM

notatrollorami: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: We got rid of our refrigerator last year to make room for a wood-burning stove.

Honestly, when we buy meat and poultry we use it that day or donate it to the local halfway house. Anything else just seems... incredibly non-green.

And you don't even own a tv and your coworkers banal tv talk befuddles you?

Just guessing.


Nope! We don't have cable, but we do watch films and documentaries on our AppleTV.
 
2013-10-06 05:57:30 PM

sendtodave: He doesn't cook too much, so he doesn't freeze the leftovers that he doesn't have.


He might just live somewhere where it's cold. I wouldn't need a refrigerator for about half the year, and if I used the cellar, I could probably get by for the entire year.

cleanup in aisle 2: calbert: /closely related is the effect of having to flush a low-flow toilet more than once to remove solid waste
Is that why my newer low-flow toilet has two flush options?  Because the originals couldn't quite get it all down? (seems like an error in product testing...what a strange job that would be...)


Uh no, one is for #1 and the other is for #2. Geez. They're numbered and everything.
 
2013-10-06 05:58:56 PM
www.piccer.nl

Tiny refrigerator (4.2ft³). And I mainly use it to store beer. And the occasional extra plate of food because I often cook for two days at once. Oh, and the little freezer compartment for buying meat when it is on sale. I would have gotten rid of it in exchange for a mini fridge which would at most fit a crate of beer if I could manage without the freezer compartment.

/Why yes, I do live the bachelor life style
//Having loads of supermarkets nearby rocks
 
2013-10-06 06:03:13 PM

MrEricSir: This article is absurd. I mean, how many Americans only have one fridge?


This is true... I live in a household of 2 people, and we have 2 fridges, each with a freezer section, and then I have a mini-fridge in the bedroom that doubles as a TV stand...
 
2013-10-06 06:05:37 PM
FTA "Most people would agree that fresh food tastes better than anything that's been kept in a refrigerator for even a short amount of time."

Who the fark says that? I'm not going to go shopping every day because my fridge is too small to hold a weeks worth of groceries, and fresh produce lasts 5 times longer in the fridge than it does sitting on the counter.

I lived in the UK for several years and the size of the refrigerators there are absolutely absurd. The average household fridge is what you would find in a dorm or hotel room. Forget about leftovers, what's not eaten gets thrown away most times because there's simply no room to store it.  The freezer section is barely large enough to hold a couple ice cube trays let alone anything else.

One thing I noticed is that the people get really good at packing things into them, it's like a jigsaw puzzle. The problem with that is, you have to spend 5 minutes pulling things out when what you need is in the back, and then spend another five minutes putting it all back in. They also tend to keep things that we keep refrigerated in the cupboard instead.

An energy efficient 18 cubic foot fridge costs less than $50 a year to operate, so saying that us Americans are destroying the environment with our refrigerators is simply ignorant.
 
kth
2013-10-06 06:12:29 PM
We live in the country. Seven miles to the nearest grocery store of any kind, and over half an hour to the nearest supermarket (which isn't really on my way home even). I go shopping once a week for the major stuff, and pick up things I've missed in the stupidly expensive grocery store across the street from my office in the closest major city. Vegetables are bought either at the farmer's market or from the neighbor's farm. Eggs come from another professor in my husband's department. Meat is either grocery store or from our freezer, where we keep the meat we buy in bulk from the local butcher. The lamb we bought will be processed in about a month, so we need to make some room in there. We bought our milk from some neighbors until it made my Mr. kth sick.

We have a fridge with beverages, dairy, defrosting meat, condiments and the produce that needs to be in the fridge. The freezer side of the fridge has vegetables, fruit and ice cream. We have a meat freezer in our laundry room with meat, stocks of various types and leftovers. We have a big pantry with food grade barrels for flours, rice and other bulk food. And we have a fresh pantry that has non-refrigerated produce that's housed in a repurposed toy organizer.  One of the closets in the basement has the produce I canned.

And we have two dorm sized fridges in the basement for lagering and aging cheese.


my life is very different than I imagined it would be when I went to law school.
our nearest neighbor is a herd of cows
 
2013-10-06 06:13:24 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

clicki to wiki
 
2013-10-06 06:21:19 PM
Why is the size of my refrigerator anyone else's concern? It was manufactured legally, purchased legally, and sits in my kitchen legally. It runs off legally produced and delivered electric power, and all of its contents were acquired legally. F*ck you if you don't like the size of it.
 
2013-10-06 06:26:46 PM

Maul555: MrEricSir: This article is absurd. I mean, how many Americans only have one fridge?

This is true... I live in a household of 2 people, and we have 2 fridges, each with a freezer section, and then I have a mini-fridge in the bedroom that doubles as a TV stand...


I've never had more than one fridge.  Not when I was a kid, not when I was single, not when I was married with a kid.  Just one fridge.

No secondary or chest freezers, either.
 
2013-10-06 06:34:16 PM

Tobin_Lam: Majick Thise: A fair portion of the electronics usage can be cut by turning off power at the surge protector Almost every gizmo uses power in standby mode these days. Assuming you don't care about the clock on these items. Also if necessary you can buy a remote control plugin to do this if your surge isn't easily accessible, this thing probably does use some power but far less than all the gear you just turned off.

Standby power is typically less than 1W. If you turned off everything at the switch every time, you might save a few dollars per year. It isn't anything to be concerned about.


Seems like the average is between 3 and 5 watts until you get to your set top boxes and then it shoots way up. So just in my TV room I have a TV, 3 DVD players, a laserdisc player, a sub, a receiver, an AppleTV and a rechargeable remote oh and a remote control electrical outlet. That's 10 things pulling 3 watts each for 20 hours a day (assuming I watch tv for 4 hours) and that's just one room in my home. Yeah it's still likely to less than 20$ a year... ;-)
 
2013-10-06 06:35:23 PM

Delay: poot_rootbeer: For the most part, European cities have been planned by a central authority for livability.

Just a suggestion, on your next vacation take a trip to one European country. Great Britain for example. Nothing you posted is correct.


Most developments include stores mixed in with housing, and the larger developments will include a superstore with smaller retail units around it, all within walking distance of the housing, and very much something planned.
This, for example, where the big building and car park in the middle is an Asda (owned by Walmart BTW) and about ten other small stores.
The entire development is criss crossed with footpaths, most of which don't show up on Google if you try to get it to work out a route. Even though it has a large car park it is very much designed for walking to the central retail hub. This is very typical of any large scale development.
 
2013-10-06 06:45:29 PM
Admiral Birdseye.

Really. We had a convergence of lots of new housing meaning new kitchens built to fit the new refrigerators that would keep your milk and meat fresh for days and allow you take advantage of the new boon of frozen foods. At the time we boomed, europe was recovering to a pre-war lifestyle. To be quite frank, Brits get by with small. Smaller houses, refrigerators, cooking appliances, cars.

Oh, and efficiency of a refrigerator should increase on a watts per cubic foot basis, since in scaling the surface squares while the volume cubes.
 
2013-10-06 06:48:03 PM
Fridge from old bachelor pad...normal sized fridge.

i377.photobucket.com
i377.photobucket.com
 
2013-10-06 07:25:05 PM
Old refrigerators are cool.
 
2013-10-06 07:35:39 PM

feanorn: Old refrigerators are cool.


And bulletproof.They may be less efficient then the newer models, but I'll guarantee you you won't be finding a model purchased today still chugging along keeping somebody's beer cold in the garage 50 years from now.
 
2013-10-06 08:01:48 PM

cryinoutloud: They go along with our shopping habits.


We tend to buy food for a week or two at a time in America because it's such a pain in the a$$ to get to the store.

The Europeans I tend to hang around with hit the central market on the way home from work on their bikes ever two days. They buy most everything in smaller packages and waste is frowned upon.

You want some more differences, look at the way they heat their houses. We tend to heat the whole house at once, they tend to heat rooms individually when they're occupied.

Different cultures, one shaped by many wars over the centuries.
 
2013-10-06 08:08:46 PM

Mrbogey: The big draws in a home are in order:

1. Air Conditioning
2. Water heating
3. Lighting
4. Refrigeration.
5. Electronics

Your best bets to use little energy are use on demand hot water(natural gas), keep your AC set to as high as you can tolerate in the summer and as low in the winter, and go to bed shortly after the sun sets. Refrigeration is being outpaced by electronics for electrical usage due to efficient designs of the newer fridges.


In my case.

1. water heating (I shower, lots, in practically boiling water)
2. electronics (tivo, xbox, ps3, hdtv, workstation, laptop, netbook, tablet, phone, etc, yeah I have electronics)
3. refrigeration
4. lighting (there is normally just one light on in my condo. a 100 watt equivalent ccfl)
5. heating/cooling (I live in a temperate zone and am originally from a warm climate, I open windows or throw on blankets)
 
2013-10-06 08:18:48 PM
You want fridges to be more efficient? Fine, up the QC and put in more efficient refrigerants!

/Commercial refrigerators are ammonia based.
//Look, we have CFLs, it's not like we're not willingly bringing dangerous chemicals into our home.
 
2013-10-06 08:40:50 PM

YoOjo: Delay:

Although your post is long, I read it.

My posts are always long, longerer words are betterer, and longerer posts are the bestest.


tl:dr
 
2013-10-06 08:43:22 PM
because grandma was starting to smell (need that SS check!)
 
2013-10-06 08:45:04 PM

Frantic Freddie: buzzcut73: I have a normal sized fridge because that's what came with the house (rental) but the space would accommodate one of those bigassed things. The fridge is fine, sometimes wish it was a little bigger, but that's so I could keep more beer cold.

My chest freezer is what needs to be bigger. I'd like to start buying quarter or sides of beef, and those 30lb bags of green chile in the fall. Even processed into quart bags that takes up a fair amount of space that I don't really have in the freezer most of the time.

Only in New Mexico do we have separate freezers for green chile ;) :D

We have 2 fridges & a large chest freezer, all full, one of the fridges is for beer,soda & wine. We're 6 miles from the nearest grocery store, 25 miles from Costco. We do get snowed in sometimes, it's handy to stock up for those times.


img.fark.net

Yup. Sixty pounds Hatch green chile.
New Mexico/Arizona border here.
 
2013-10-06 09:05:59 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: Frantic Freddie: buzzcut73: I have a normal sized fridge because that's what came with the house (rental) but the space would accommodate one of those bigassed things. The fridge is fine, sometimes wish it was a little bigger, but that's so I could keep more beer cold.

My chest freezer is what needs to be bigger. I'd like to start buying quarter or sides of beef, and those 30lb bags of green chile in the fall. Even processed into quart bags that takes up a fair amount of space that I don't really have in the freezer most of the time.

Only in New Mexico do we have separate freezers for green chile ;) :D

We have 2 fridges & a large chest freezer, all full, one of the fridges is for beer,soda & wine. We're 6 miles from the nearest grocery store, 25 miles from Costco. We do get snowed in sometimes, it's handy to stock up for those times.

[img.fark.net image 850x637]

Yup. Sixty pounds Hatch green chile.
New Mexico/Arizona border here.


I bet you're regular
 
2013-10-06 09:13:21 PM
There actually smaller because of all the insulation, barely fits a quart of milk.
 
2013-10-06 09:18:19 PM
The US is a big country and we don't all live within walking distance of a grocery store. For me it's a 25 mile drive.
 
2013-10-06 09:19:34 PM

Mad Mark: Also, I need a place to store my meatcakes.


Could be meat, could be cake....
 
2013-10-06 09:27:10 PM
Something I noticed a lot when I lived overseas was how they tend to keep a lot of foods in a cupboard rather than refrigerated. Eggs, cheese, mayonnaise, jelly/jam and other condiments, all kept on the countertop or in the pantry. If they had left over chicken from dinner they would just put it in a covered dish on the counter and eat it for lunch the next day. I don't know how the rates of food poisoning compare form there to here but I'd bet it's much higher.
 
2013-10-06 09:34:57 PM

Majick Thise: 3 DVD players


What do you do, 'channel surf' between films?

curious_dog.jpg
 
2013-10-06 09:41:45 PM
I have never thought of my refrigerator as particularly large.  Nor have I ever suffered refrigerator 'lust" whatever the fark that is.  If 17 cu ft is large then I guess mine is large.  It doesn't seem like it though.  It barely holds a week of food.  I wish the dirty enviro-weenie hippie types would make up their mind.  They say they want us to drive less yet according to this article they apparently want us to drive to the store more often.  WTF?
 
2013-10-06 09:49:39 PM

MrEricSir: This article is absurd. I mean, how many Americans only have one fridge?


Lots of them only have one, I know quite a few.

I'm not one of them, of course.  I've got two and a chest freezer.

And I live walking distance from two grocery stores.  I just hate shopping, so I only do it when I have to.

Oh, and it's not like I refrigerate silly things - ketchup goes in the cabinet.  And brie goes in a paper bag on the counter, as I discovered recently when I tried to eat some I'd brought home.  Ammonia nightmare, almost tossed it, did a bit of googling, left it out for a week, it was perfect.
 
2013-10-06 09:54:26 PM

Soloco: ecmoRandomNumbers: Frantic Freddie: buzzcut73: I have a normal sized fridge because that's what came with the house (rental) but the space would accommodate one of those bigassed things. The fridge is fine, sometimes wish it was a little bigger, but that's so I could keep more beer cold.

My chest freezer is what needs to be bigger. I'd like to start buying quarter or sides of beef, and those 30lb bags of green chile in the fall. Even processed into quart bags that takes up a fair amount of space that I don't really have in the freezer most of the time.

Only in New Mexico do we have separate freezers for green chile ;) :D

We have 2 fridges & a large chest freezer, all full, one of the fridges is for beer,soda & wine. We're 6 miles from the nearest grocery store, 25 miles from Costco. We do get snowed in sometimes, it's handy to stock up for those times.

[img.fark.net image 850x637]

Yup. Sixty pounds Hatch green chile.
New Mexico/Arizona border here.

I bet you're regular


If you grow up on green chile it doesn't affect you any more or less than eating pickles as far as that's concerned.
 
2013-10-06 10:05:11 PM
Because we're Americans
And we are better than everyone else
 
Displayed 50 of 188 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report