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(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  
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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
 
2013-10-06 10:06:03 AM
All of that high fructose corn syrup juice has to go somewhere.
 
2013-10-06 10:07:28 AM
Beer storage.  Geez what a stupid question.
 
2013-10-06 10:12:18 AM
Why is everyone else's so puny?
 
2013-10-06 10:25:20 AM
Where else would you put all that food?

img.fark.net
 
2013-10-06 10:42:59 AM
They go along with our shopping habits.

www.kenrockwell.com
 
2013-10-06 10:43:22 AM
I'm guessing it's so they can keep a lot of things, or large things, cold?
 
2013-10-06 10:43:26 AM
Knew it, just another envirotard piece on how evil Americans are killing the planet.

Go take your puny little fridge someplace else.
 
2013-10-06 10:52:35 AM

LordZorch: Knew it, just another envirotard piece on how evil Americans are killing the planet.

Go take your puny little fridge someplace else.


You are bad at reading.
 
2013-10-06 11:36:14 AM
Americans don't want to go shopping (or eat out) every day.

/two person household.
//two fridges.
///total of ~34 cu. ft.
////both packed full.
 
2013-10-06 11:41:01 AM
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.
 
2013-10-06 11:41:57 AM
Because I NEED 12lbs of mayo! OK?!
 
2013-10-06 11:59:03 AM
Because unlike Europeans, who tend to go shopping for fresh produce and meats every couple days or so, Americans buy a few weeks worth of food all at once, and we need the space to keep the food cold and fresh until we're ready to eat it.  That, and we don't eat the amount of fresh produce per day a lot of people in other countries do, so buying it every other day makes no fiscal sense.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-10-06 12:03:52 PM
Because it costs less to buy things is larger quantities and it produces less packaging waste?
 
2013-10-06 12:13:00 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.


Also, the gap between 2 and 3 is pretty wide, especially with CFLs.
 
2013-10-06 12:15:33 PM

vpb: Because it costs less to buy things is larger quantities and it produces less packaging waste?


Perhaps, but look at how much food waste Americans create, and you may question the strategy of buying 10 pounds of vegetables once a week and cramming them in the crisper until it can barely shut.
 
2013-10-06 12:15:40 PM

Mrbogey: use on demand hot water(natural gas),


Won't keep up with a proper shower unless you piggy back 2 of them for the shower only and they are astoundingly expensive to do your whole house. Low flow showers SUCKI have low flow dual flush toilets, low flow sinks, water and energy efficient dishwasher even the second shower is low flow but my shower I will not yield on. It flows heavily (so to speak)

Mrbogey: keep your AC set to as high as you can tolerate in the summer and as low in the winter,


Extra cold in winter to make up for the extra cold in summer!

Mrbogey: and go to bed shortly after the sun sets


BWAHAHAHA!

Mrbogey: Refrigeration is being outpaced by electronics


One new and one newish fridge (both BIG) because I get paid every 2 weeks and make one trip every payday. Seems about half of that space is taken by drinks

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.

CFL bulbs rock Get the yellowish/golden ones not the blueish/actinic white, ones no one needs THAT much contrast in their living room
 
2013-10-06 12:24:25 PM

Mrbogey: go to bed shortly after the sun sets


For a decent part of the year the sun sets before I'm even out of work.
 
2013-10-06 12:28:37 PM
One of the benefits of living where I used to live in Berkeley, in an older neighborhood, with mixed development and housing was that it was a very simple, quick, and pleasurable thing to walk to a corner market (10th of a mile), or walk to a butcher or bakery or cheese shop (1/2 mile), or walk, even to a supermarket (1/2 mile) to pick up fresh food for dinner.

The place was built for walking, especially because it had mixed development.

Where I exist now the whole city was designed around cars. Stores, offices, boutiques are all clustered in megacenters with enormous parking lots.  The closest "grocery" store is a Target about 3/4 mile away. The closest supermarket is a mile away.  There are no independent bakeries or butchers etc. within 10 miles.

I'd like to move back to a place with a good walkability score.
 
2013-10-06 12:30:41 PM

Sid_6.7: Mrbogey: go to bed shortly after the sun sets

For a decent part of the year the sun sets before I'm even out of work.


Go to work in the dark, go home in the dark. Truly the most depressing part of the year.
 
2013-10-06 12:35:07 PM
Is this one of those bullshiat HR questions?

/because the manholes are round
 
2013-10-06 12:35:14 PM

NewportBarGuy: Sid_6.7: Mrbogey: go to bed shortly after the sun sets

For a decent part of the year the sun sets before I'm even out of work.

Go to work in the dark, go home in the dark. Truly the most depressing part of the year.


I usually spend all day at work in the dark, too

/metaphorically speaking
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-10-06 12:58:58 PM

b0rscht: vpb: Because it costs less to buy things is larger quantities and it produces less packaging waste?

Perhaps, but look at how much food waste Americans create, and you may question the strategy of buying 10 pounds of vegetables once a week and cramming them in the crisper until it can barely shut.


That's silly.  Americans don't eat vegetables.
 
2013-10-06 01:17:47 PM
Because they're America's last ditch atomic blast shelters!

whatculture.com


/The REAL question should be:  Why do Americans have such large asses?
 
2013-10-06 01:19:52 PM
Because we can, duh.
 
2013-10-06 01:28:04 PM

RoyBatty: One of the benefits of living where I used to live in Berkeley, in an older neighborhood, with mixed development and housing was that it was a very simple, quick, and pleasurable thing to walk to a corner market (10th of a mile), or walk to a butcher or bakery or cheese shop (1/2 mile), or walk, even to a supermarket (1/2 mile) to pick up fresh food for dinner.

The place was built for walking, especially because it had mixed development.

Where I exist now the whole city was designed around cars. Stores, offices, boutiques are all clustered in megacenters with enormous parking lots.  The closest "grocery" store is a Target about 3/4 mile away. The closest supermarket is a mile away.  There are no independent bakeries or butchers etc. within 10 miles.

I'd like to move back to a place with a good walkability score.


It has been a LONG time since most americans lived that way.
 
2013-10-06 01:41:48 PM

namatad: RoyBatty: One of the benefits of living where I used to live in Berkeley, in an older neighborhood, with mixed development and housing was that it was a very simple, quick, and pleasurable thing to walk to a corner market (10th of a mile), or walk to a butcher or bakery or cheese shop (1/2 mile), or walk, even to a supermarket (1/2 mile) to pick up fresh food for dinner.

The place was built for walking, especially because it had mixed development.

Where I exist now the whole city was designed around cars. Stores, offices, boutiques are all clustered in megacenters with enormous parking lots.  The closest "grocery" store is a Target about 3/4 mile away. The closest supermarket is a mile away.  There are no independent bakeries or butchers etc. within 10 miles.

I'd like to move back to a place with a good walkability score.

It has been a LONG time since most americans lived that way.


I understand, but I am told that because of zoning laws outlawing mixed development, and because of how developers place parking lots in front of a store instead of in the rear which makes it that much more difficult to build a streetside business community.

It was very new to me when I moved to Berkeley from a very suburban part of LA, but it was great.

I also lived 1/2 mile uphill from one BART station and 3/4 mile downhill from another BART station which also turned out to be terribly wonderful luck.
 
2013-10-06 01:47:26 PM
Kind of interesting -- since I had never considered that point before.

But then, back decades ago, when Europeans were driving small, fuel efficient cars, relying on multi-speed transmissions Americans were buying 4 speed machines the size of ships with massive engines that relied on HORSEPOWER.

I still recall a few family cars from when I was a kid -- not SUV's but with enough room inside to rattle around in. Trunks big enough to move into as an apartment.

I still haven't figured out the difference in household current, though, from them to us. We use 110 and many European nations use -- what -- 210?

The American Culture has been heavily influenced by marketing strategies, designed to get you to pay more in the long run. I think we came up with the concept of 'planned obsolescence' first -- mainly in the auto industry. That started the buying a new car every year trend.

Later, we would move it into other products so companies could sell more and we developed massive land fills and scrap yards.

Of course, now, we've found a way to make major bucks off recycling. We've even been known to buy garbage from other nations to process through our recycling plants for major bucks.

Rising prices on nearly everything food related mean most folks tend to buy in bulk. It's cheaper in the long run. Plus, it seems that no matter which way you turn, there's some excuse to raise the price of food.

Look at the alcohol fuel trend and the corn crop and the major results from that. Not much in fuel savings, but a huge boon to investors in corn and food products. Soon you'll need to take out a loan to buy a beef roast.

There's a lot of American household items which are designed bigger than in many European nations. I've seen stoves in kitchens that basically take up 1/4 of the available space. Sinks which would look appropriate in restaurant kitchens and counters packed with enough electronic cooking devices to start a store.

You can't watch TV without having a car commercial at every station break. Infomercials have popped up to sell you tons of cheap, not very durable products. That big screen TV of yours cost three times as much as the old tube TV and will last about half as long, but it's now getting harder to buy the analogue version.

Then we have the 'grab and go' generations, who no longer do much actual home cooking, preferring to buy prepared meals and foods from the store. That's come about due to folks having to work more and from basic free enterprise advertising. Why spend an hour making a meal when your free time is valuable and you can have one in 15 minutes? Granted, it may have some of the ingredients in it from antifreeze to sawdust, but at levels the FDA says will not hurt you.

Of course, now we're going backwards, creating reliability and dependability. Car engines last longer than 64,000 miles and most tires now get three times the previous mileage.

Though, you now get to pay three times as much.
 
2013-10-06 02:20:51 PM

Riche: Because they're America's last ditch atomic blast shelters!

[whatculture.com image 504x250]


/The REAL question should be:  Why do Americans have such large asses?


That would be to wedge yourself into the fridge so you don't get hurt when it lands.
 
2013-10-06 02:30:52 PM

DrPainMD: Americans don't want to go shopping (or eat out) every day.

/two person household.
//two fridges.
///total of ~34 cu. ft.
////both packed full.


Same here..  both full size though.. Shops at Costco.

/uses a food saver vac... bought at Costco
 
2013-10-06 02:45:24 PM

Mrbogey: Your best bets to use little energy are use on demand hot water(natural gas).


slight threadjack:

I remember reading a study that came out years ago about water conservation and the hope that as more households were adopting the on-demand water heaters there would be a noticeable decline in water consumption.

but based on their observations, they found that water consumption didn't decrease, and in some cases, it actually increased in homes were the technology was present.

people would turn the shower on (which is 'instantly' hot) yet they would still go about their routine as if they were waiting for hot water to reach the shower-head (brush their teeth, get undressed...)

and then on the other end, people were actually taking longer showers because they were never running out of hot water (especially in multiple-persons households).

so apparently it is the behavior of the consumer that needs to adopt to the 'new' technology.

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

threadjack over
 
2013-10-06 02:53:18 PM

calbert: Mrbogey: Your best bets to use little energy are use on demand hot water(natural gas).

slight threadjack:

I remember reading a study that came out years ago about water conservation and the hope that as more households were adopting the on-demand water heaters there would be a noticeable decline in water consumption.

but based on their observations, they found that water consumption didn't decrease, and in some cases, it actually increased in homes were the technology was present.

people would turn the shower on (which is 'instantly' hot) yet they would still go about their routine as if they were waiting for hot water to reach the shower-head (brush their teeth, get undressed...)

and then on the other end, people were actually taking longer showers because they were never running out of hot water (especially in multiple-persons households).

so apparently it is the behavior of the consumer that needs to adopt to the 'new' technology.

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

threadjack over


unintended consequences are wonderful
places which install water metering to generate more revenue.
unintended consequence? water usage goes down and revenue goes down.

this has been true for pretty much every "tragedy of the commons" situation
 
2013-10-06 02:58:27 PM
It's so we can spend less energy driving to the store less often.
Have larger containers of food to use less packaging.
Stores can move larger volumes of food at a time requiring only one large building instead of three smaller ones.

Anything else?
 
2013-10-06 03:11:24 PM
I blame the '85 Bears
 
2013-10-06 03:20:56 PM

jaylectricity: It's so we can spend less energy driving to the store less often.
Have larger containers of food to use less packaging.
Stores can move larger volumes of food at a time requiring only one large building instead of three smaller ones.

Anything else?


better quality control, better pricing, better selection, the list goes on and on.
you also left out, not having to drive/walk to 12 different stores to get everything that you needed.
Butcher, baker, produce, dry goods, liquor, drug store, hardware store, the list goes on and on.

The myth of the small local store continues to this day.
It ignores things like: shiat used to cost a lot more, store hours were terrible, local stores wouldn't sell to those people, etc, etc.

/I would kill for a local bakery that had REAL french bread, not that american crap we call french bread.
 
2013-10-06 03:25:59 PM
Because Fark you, I am an American and I buy what I want, that's why!
 
2013-10-06 03:27:42 PM

Maul555: Because Fark you, I am an American and I buy what I want, that's why!


Came for this...
 
2013-10-06 03:28:31 PM

Coco LaFemme: Because unlike Europeans, who tend to go shopping for fresh produce and meats every couple days or so, Americans buy a few weeks worth of food all at once, and we need the space to keep the food cold and fresh until we're ready to eat it.  That, and we don't eat the amount of fresh produce per day a lot of people in other countries do, so buying it every other day makes no fiscal sense.


These kinds of argument would make sense, until you look at how much food we throw away from our fridge.
 
2013-10-06 03:30:07 PM
The fact that we put perishable food in the refrigerator suggests that we still remember the refrigeration's most basic advantage: to prevent food from spoiling before we consume it.


www.reactionface.info
 
2013-10-06 03:30:17 PM
I have only one really large fridge in my house. The ones in the garage are normal sized. You're welcome, Earth.
 
2013-10-06 03:32:18 PM
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.
 
2013-10-06 03:32:25 PM

Maul555: Because Fark you, I am an American and I buy what I want, that's why!

 
2013-10-06 03:32:29 PM
Because Obama is trying to give away as much as he can to the poors.
 
2013-10-06 03:34:11 PM
Why do Americans have such large refrigerators?
Dead hooker storage.
 
2013-10-06 03:35:25 PM

Fallout Boy: Coco LaFemme: Because unlike Europeans, who tend to go shopping for fresh produce and meats every couple days or so, Americans buy a few weeks worth of food all at once, and we need the space to keep the food cold and fresh until we're ready to eat it.  That, and we don't eat the amount of fresh produce per day a lot of people in other countries do, so buying it every other day makes no fiscal sense.

These kinds of argument would make sense, until you look at how much food we throw away from our fridge.


I can't speak for other people, but my boyfriend and I are very good about buying only what we know we'll eat in the time between grocery shopping runs.  That way we don't have a lot of spoilage or food that ends up uneaten.  Also, I make a lot of casseroles that used up leftovers, so food that otherwise would have gone uneaten or gone bad before we ate it, gets re-purposed.
 
2013-10-06 03:36:24 PM

NewportBarGuy: Because I NEED 12lbs of mayo! OK?!


LIAR!!

A REAL American would know that Mayo is sold in liquid measurements so you might have 12 gallons of mayo.  At 1.6 lbs. per gallon the weight conversion on this would be 19.2 lbs.  And since 12 gallons of mayo only takes up ~2 cubic feet, you can fit FAR more of that in your 34 FT3fridge.

So take a hike you poser!
 
2013-10-06 03:37:52 PM
 
2013-10-06 03:39:06 PM
I live on and off in South America(Colombia) and I can tell you from my travels all over South America, and in the US.  The corner store is generally a myth.

Corner stores cost more, have inferior product, and just because the carrots have dirty still on them do not warrant the price being double for the convenience.

I eat a large amount of vegetables, and I go shopping every two weeks.

My Colombian wife spent most of her free time going to the tienda to buy two eggs, a bag of milk, and a few slices of bread, all at outrageous prices.

I finally sat down with her and showed her how she could save time and money by planning a shopping trip, and sure the guy in the supermarket might not be as friendly as the tienda(who robs the local residents blind) but you saved hours and pesos.
 
2013-10-06 03:40:23 PM

Riche: Because they're America's last ditch atomic blast shelters!

[whatculture.com image 504x250]


/The REAL question should be:  Why do Americans have such large asses?


winner
 
2013-10-06 03:41:26 PM
You know what they say about a guy with a big fridge...
 
2013-10-06 03:41:57 PM
craighamar.com

Because if refrigerators weren't so big, this guy might have been nicknamed "The Dishwasher". And that's just wrong.
 
2013-10-06 03:42:00 PM

Mrbogey: ...and go to bed shortly after the sun sets


At least for me in the summer, I will save tons of electricity if I go to bed around 1 or 2am, because it will be substantially cooler than "shortly after the sun sets" and I will thus have to run the A/C much less (or perhaps not at all) in order to get the bedroom to a temperature at which I can actually sleep.
 
2013-10-06 03:45:35 PM

Arkanaut: Because Obama is trying to give away as much as he can to the poors.


Aha, so that explains it.

cloudfront.mediamatters.org
 
2013-10-06 03:46:23 PM

jaylectricity: It's so we can spend less energy driving to the store less often.
Have larger containers of food to use less packaging.
Stores can move larger volumes of food at a time requiring only one large building instead of three smaller ones.


Zackly.  The author must not be deep enough to think it through.  Driving 15 miles to the nearest store and 15 back everyday is a waste of energy.  We live in a large country where things are a lot further apart than they are in Europe so to save energy we have lager refrigerators.
 
2013-10-06 03:46:48 PM

cryinoutloud: They go along with our shopping habits.

[www.kenrockwell.com image 600x399]


Why would anyone refrigerate fabric softener?
 
2013-10-06 03:48:50 PM

Mad Mark: Why do Americans have such large refrigerators?
Dead hooker storage.


Aaand we're done here.
 
2013-10-06 03:49:21 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.


Fark that noise.  I'm not poor and I don't live in a 3rd world hellhole where I have to rely on a finicky and unreliable energy source.  I heat and cool my living space so that it's  comfortable, not tolerable.
 
2013-10-06 03:49:36 PM

7th Son of a 7th Son: cryinoutloud: They go along with our shopping habits.

[www.kenrockwell.com image 600x399]

Why would anyone refrigerate fabric softener?


Because Jesus.
 
2013-10-06 03:50:02 PM
I have a big fridge and the bottom part has hardly anything in it, and the freezer I keep full. What I need is a 10 cu. ft. fridge, half freezer, half cold storage. Over in Britain my friends have liddle-bitty fridges built under the counter. Seems to be all they need...
 
2013-10-06 03:51:13 PM
Now now, no need to be envious of our large refrigerators. Someday, you can afford one too.
 
2013-10-06 03:51:26 PM
To hold the food.
 
2013-10-06 03:51:31 PM
Odd article. I'm far from convinced that their information is correct. It's true that American fridges are larger than the equivalent in, say, the UK, but over there they tend to use chest freezers (which are far more efficient than those odd little things at the top of American fridges.

Rik01 was asking about voltage in Europe. It's 220 - 240V. The UK is slightly higher than mainland Europe. This is the normal supply voltage in the US, but it's split down when it comes into your house, into two 110-volt phases. Some appliances, like your range and clothes drier, use 220V directly. I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances, but it makes for some really lousy electric kettles. Probably perceived as safer. Damn you, Edison!
 
2013-10-06 03:52:52 PM

jtown: 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.

Fark that noise.  I'm not poor and I don't live in a 3rd world hellhole where I have to rely on a finicky and unreliable energy source.  I heat and cool my living space so that it's  comfortable, not tolerable.


You know, I just bought a Nest thermostat in Spring.  It's advanced features have saved 40% off my energy bills this year and I have not even once noticed an environmental difference.  It has already paid for itself easily.

Anyone who is environmentally conscious should check it out.
 
2013-10-06 03:52:57 PM
So why then would anyone want a weeks' worth of perishable food stored in their kitchen at one time?

because i don't live in a grocery store?


food in America is cheaper than anywhere else in the world.   when chicken breast went on sale for $0.99 a pound
last week, i bought a dozen packs at least, and they are now stuffed inside my freezer.
 
2013-10-06 03:53:21 PM
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.
I shop in bulk but top up with a piece of broccoli or whatever daily, from a dedicated fruit and veg store that's cheaper than the supermarket (not everything is cheaper in supermarkets, seems to me it's mainly the sugary stuff that's dirt cheap).
I'm really not trying to be a hipster douche, I just don't run a fridge any more. I used to be pretty damn wealthy and had the whole kitchen bigger than the house I was born in and fridge bigger than my old bedroom... but where I am in life now, with my freak flag ran up the pole again, I'm happy enough living like this thanks.
I doubt it'll catch on, fridges are very convenient. One thing though, in the past I regularly bought too much fresh and threw out stuff that I'd optimistically bought thinking I could use. I don't get waste anymore, there's no fridge to forget I put things in.
 
2013-10-06 03:55:09 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Why is everyone else's so puny?


Koreans also have huge fridges. Often more than one. I know some Koreans who have 4 fridges in a house of three people.
 
2013-10-06 03:57:25 PM

Tillmaster: Odd article. I'm far from convinced that their information is correct. It's true that American fridges are larger than the equivalent in, say, the UK, but over there they tend to use chest freezers (which are far more efficient than those odd little things at the top of American fridges.

Rik01 was asking about voltage in Europe. It's 220 - 240V. The UK is slightly higher than mainland Europe. This is the normal supply voltage in the US, but it's split down when it comes into your house, into two 110-volt phases. Some appliances, like your range and clothes drier, use 220V directly. I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances, but it makes for some really lousy electric kettles. Probably perceived as safer. Damn you, Edison!


Try Westinghouse. Or Tesla. Edison tried to sell the world on D/C, and cranked up the panic derp on A/C with horrific stunts like electrocuting an elephant. On second thought, F*CK YOU, Edison.
 
2013-10-06 03:57:48 PM

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.


some_beer_drinker: Riche: Because they're America's last ditch atomic blast shelters!

[whatculture.com image 504x250]


/The REAL question should be:  Why do Americans have such large asses?

winner


Because we eat a lot of crap.  Oddly enough, most crap food may not require refrigeration (unless you saving those half eaten pizzas and burgers) so having a large refrigerator does not equal having a large arse.  It only means you have a larger place to store perishables.

Our kitchens tend to be large, the abundance and economy of pre-prepped food- as well as our lack of "corner stores" in non-urban regions where stocking for several days is a must-- as well as the development of larger, more energy efficient compartments probably have more to do with our choice in freezer size as opposed to simply meeting the desire to horde fattening foods.
 
2013-10-06 03:58:23 PM
Tillmaster:

Rik01 was asking about voltage in Europe. It's 220 - 240V. The UK is slightly higher than mainland Europe. This is the normal supply voltage in the US, but it's split down when it comes into your house, into two 110-volt phases. Some appliances, like your range and clothes drier, use 220V directly. I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances, but it makes for some really lousy electric kettles. Probably perceived as safer. Damn you, Edison!

probably because it means less current and so they are safer for the average dumb American.  electrocuting our fat asses
is frowned upon apparently
 
2013-10-06 03:59:08 PM
Because:

1-Cities had neighborhood stores where you could walk to the store and pick up food from the local market.  This still exists in some large cities.
2-Then companies that made cars started shutting down street cars in some cities.
3-Drive through fast food restaurants started popping up,people started moving to the suburbs.  The US became a car culture.
4-Mega stores started popping up in the late 90's, and closing down any supermarket that did not offer banking services, dry cleaners, ect within the grocery store.
5-Since people drive, and it is harder to pop in and out of supermarkets for the reasons above, it just makes more sense to do shopping once or twice a week.

To rephrase, between the car culture and the centralizing of corporations, it just makes more sense to have big fridges and do it the American way.  To anyone that has lived in large cities with good mass transit and lots of mom and pop stores, you will find your food purchasing habits may change.
 
2013-10-06 03:59:09 PM

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.
 
2013-10-06 04:02:21 PM

jsmilky: Tillmaster:

Rik01 was asking about voltage in Europe. It's 220 - 240V. The UK is slightly higher than mainland Europe. This is the normal supply voltage in the US, but it's split down when it comes into your house, into two 110-volt phases. Some appliances, like your range and clothes drier, use 220V directly. I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances, but it makes for some really lousy electric kettles. Probably perceived as safer. Damn you, Edison!

probably because it means less current and so they are safer for the average dumb American.  electrocuting our fat asses
is frowned upon apparently


It means more current, actually, which is why the power cables on electric kettles warm up. Less voltage, though.
 
2013-10-06 04:02:22 PM
It's simple, people in many other countries spend a lot more time going out to get food (either to collect and bring back or eat out) compared to Americans.
 
2013-10-06 04:03:04 PM
because who cares
 
2013-10-06 04:04:18 PM

kg2095: Marcus Aurelius: Why is everyone else's so puny?

Koreans also have huge fridges. Often more than one. I know some Koreans who have 4 fridges in a house of three people.


Damn. That's a lot of dog.
 
2013-10-06 04:05:36 PM
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.
 
2013-10-06 04:07:46 PM

RoyBatty: One of the benefits of living where I used to live in Berkeley, in an older neighborhood, with mixed development and housing was that it was a very simple, quick, and pleasurable thing to walk to a corner market (10th of a mile), or walk to a butcher or bakery or cheese shop (1/2 mile), or walk, even to a supermarket (1/2 mile) to pick up fresh food for dinner.

The place was built for walking, especially because it had mixed development.

Where I exist now the whole city was designed around cars. Stores, offices, boutiques are all clustered in megacenters with enormous parking lots.  The closest "grocery" store is a Target about 3/4 mile away. The closest supermarket is a mile away.  There are no independent bakeries or butchers etc. within 10 miles.

I'd like to move back to a place with a good walkability score.



I miss that, too.  There's a Kroger supermarket two blocks away, so we often walk there when we need a small number of items (e.g., just a gallon of milk).  Otherwise, we're stuck driving.
 
2013-10-06 04:09:09 PM

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


why do you hate the environment and others?

http://ehhi.org/woodsmoke/health_effects.shtml
 
2013-10-06 04:12:06 PM

Tillmaster: Odd article. I'm far from convinced that their information is correct. It's true that American fridges are larger than the equivalent in, say, the UK, but over there they tend to use chest freezers (which are far more efficient than those odd little things at the top of American fridges.

Rik01 was asking about voltage in Europe. It's 220 - 240V. The UK is slightly higher than mainland Europe. This is the normal supply voltage in the US, but it's split down when it comes into your house, into two 110-volt phases. Some appliances, like your range and clothes drier, use 220V directly. I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances, but it makes for some really lousy electric kettles. Probably perceived as safer. Damn you, Edison!


Edison was a real penis. He was the Steve Jobs of his era.
 
2013-10-06 04:12:09 PM

jsmilky: Tillmaster:

Rik01 was asking about voltage in Europe. It's 220 - 240V. The UK is slightly higher than mainland Europe. This is the normal supply voltage in the US, but it's split down when it comes into your house, into two 110-volt phases. Some appliances, like your range and clothes drier, use 220V directly. I've no idea why the US chose to drop the voltage for other appliances, but it makes for some really lousy electric kettles. Probably perceived as safer. Damn you, Edison!

probably because it means less current and so they are safer for the average dumb American.  electrocuting our fat asses
is frowned upon apparently


Unless the cops do it. Then it's okay.
 
2013-10-06 04:14:25 PM

YoOjo: 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.
I shop in bulk but top up with a piece of broccoli or whatever daily, from a dedicated fruit and veg store that's cheaper than the supermarket (not everything is cheaper in supermarkets, seems to me it's mainly the sugary stuff that's dirt cheap).
I'm really not trying to be a hipster douche, I just don't run a fridge any more. I used to be pretty damn wealthy and had the whole kitchen bigger than the house I was born in and fridge bigger than my old bedroom... but where I am in life now, with my freak flag ran up the pole again, I'm happy enough living like this thanks.


Although your post is long, I read it.

Through college, I had no refrigerator. In grad school I had a refrigerator but almost never used it. After grad school I lived in Germany and there refrigerators are pretty tiny and almost never used except for chilling wine and beer. Today, most of my refrigerator is used for salad dressing and yogurt. Neither require it.

Anyways, the short answer is: Americans are rather ignorant about healthy food.
 
2013-10-06 04:17:14 PM
The average refrigerator has a tremendous amount of wasted space.  They are simply too deep.  Behind all my stored food is a large amount of unused air space.  My prefect refrigerator would about 2/3 as deep.

All that "extra" space is filled with air that has to be chilled to maintain the internal temperature, and gets sucked out every time I open the door.
 
2013-10-06 04:18:54 PM
Article contains a lot of information about the history of refrigeration, very little about what it is about North American shopping and eating habits that results in our refrigerators being so large.

For the most part, European cities have been planned by a central authority for livability.  Want to cook dinner tonight?  There's plenty of stores you can stop in at on your walk from the public transportation center to your home and pick up one or two meals' worth of absolutely fresh food.

For the most part, American cities are not planned at all, except by developers trying to maximize their profit per acre on new construction sales.  Buying food means driving to a mega-market 5 miles away, and buying a week's worth of food in advance because otherwise it's not worth the time or cost.
 
2013-10-06 04:19:16 PM

Danger Avoid Death: kg2095: Marcus Aurelius: Why is everyone else's so puny?

Koreans also have huge fridges. Often more than one. I know some Koreans who have 4 fridges in a house of three people.

Damn. That's a lot of dog.


When I was over there my host offered to take me to a restaurant that served dog. I politely declined. I thought it was no longer legal.
 
2013-10-06 04:21:14 PM

Skyrmion: Arkanaut: Because Obama is trying to give away as much as he can to the poors.

Aha, so that explains it.

[cloudfront.mediamatters.org image 636x480]


That would be because all "poor" households are rented and most rentals include major appliances.  ie: fridge and range.  I grew up dirt poor and the only places we lived in that didn't already have a fridge were public housing or weren't hooked up for electricity in the first place.  As to the size of American refrigerators, it comes down to this.  We don't shop for food on a daily basis mostly it's weekly or bi-weekly and keeping anything fresh from spoiling requires refrigeration.  Thus, large fridge.
 
2013-10-06 04:21:50 PM
Delay:

Although your post is long, I read it.

My posts are always long, longerer words are betterer, and longerer posts are the bestest.
 
2013-10-06 04:22:26 PM
jsmilky: ... electrocuting our fat asses is frowned upon apparently

Texas disagrees.
 
2013-10-06 04:24:20 PM

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.
 
2013-10-06 04:24:21 PM

vodka: It's simple, people in many other countries spend a lot more time going out to get food (either to collect and bring back or eat out) compared to Americans.


Yes, this is called "exercise."  It doesn't take place at the gym, but it's exercise nonetheless.
 
2013-10-06 04:26:12 PM

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.
 
2013-10-06 04:28:34 PM
I don't know*, but imagine how much money you'd save by cleaning the refrigerator out and buryng Big Momma in it instead of buying a custom made piano crate!

*I do know, and I am about to prove it. Patience while I work through my list of jokes.

Why not? They're stainless steel nowadays. They're practically airproof. Just adfix a lock or three to the door and you're done--a $3,000 coffin everybody can afford.

Well, maybe Bubba Pappy's $100 Kelvinator from the front porch.

But seriously, folks. Americans have enormous refrigerators for the followng obvious reasons.

1. Electricity is relatively cheap, even a 10 or 15 cents a kilowatt hour.
2. Food is subsidized (at least the stuff you're not supposed to eat) and thus also cheap.
3. Americans consume more meat than most people, except Argentinians and Australians, who eat a heck of a lot of meat.
4. Americans consume more dairy than most countries, except, oddly enough, China, where 25% of the people are lactose-intolerant but the massive populaton means the other 75% eat a heck of a lot of milk product.
5. Americans invented the refrigerator.
6. Except maybe for Canadians, Americans can fill a refrigerator with frozen food faster than anybody on Earth. Canadians helped invent frozen food (the McCains) but Americans (Birdseye) invented that as well. And then both nations ran away with the idea of cold storage.
7. Cold storage is big historically. Because of the three-way Atlantic trade and especially the North-South leg between Newfoundland and Canada on one end and the Caribbean, South America, Mexico, and the American South on the other, there were a lot of ships plying those routes. They could carry dried fish, lumber, ice and other commodites on the South-bound trip and carry sugar, rum, and tobacco on the Northbound trip. This meant a great head-start on selling refrigerators when they were invented by the very people who bought them.
8. In addition to economic and social reasons, Americans famously drink their beer cold and their water iced to within a inch of freezing. Refrigetors are both the cause and the effect of this custom. The water our early settlers drank often came from fresh flowing streams or wells and was thus colder than the air. We got used to doing it that way and still do.
9. Also, water was plentiful and ice cheap, so restaurants encouraged us in expecting a giant glass of cold water on demand.
10. In short, America is a perfect storm of refrigeration. Next week: Why do North Americans use so much power for heating and AC, often at the same time?
 
2013-10-06 04:29:29 PM
Started shopping last week for a new fridge... so relevant to my interests.

The stores I was looking in all had the giant American super sized fridges, (I'm in Israel)
I'd tell the guys "I just need something to keep my food cold, nothing fancy".
Didn't think of a small one, don't think it would work, I cook a lot so often have lots of left overs.

On other things, I have two supermarkets on my way home from work depending which way I bike.
Three 'corner markets' within a block of my place.
And the Jerusalem outdoor market is within walking distance. I generally do my shopping there on Fridays ahead of the Sabbath and try to stock up on stuff for the week. Since I work from home a few days a week, lately once or twice a week I'll ride out there for lunch, do some 'pick up' shopping and head home the long way for a bike ride.
 
2013-10-06 04:29:49 PM
because we want our beer and bacon to be cold. and we like our beer and bacon.
 
2013-10-06 04:30:07 PM
Because it makes their asses look smaller.

/next...
 
2013-10-06 04:30:39 PM
Location. Location. Location.

When I lived in NYC my apartment was two blocks from a Westside Market and Garden of Eden, which I walked past on my way home. I cooked most of my dinners, buying what I needed each night. If I was ever out of an ingredient, it took me 10 minutes to go out, buy it, and return home. All I ever had in my refrigerator was beer, yogurt and butter.

I'm currently living in the suburbs where I have to drive to a supermarket for food, so I just load up once a week. The junior sized refrigerator I had in NYC would be too small.
 
2013-10-06 04:31:11 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.


Yep, so be it. 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'll follow. Thousands of kilowatts could be saved.
 
2013-10-06 04:31:41 PM
Danger Avoid Death
kg2095: Marcus Aurelius: Why is everyone else's so puny?
Koreans also have huge fridges. Often more than one. I know some Koreans who have 4 fridges in a house of three people.
Damn. That's a lot of dog.


That may be to avoid something called 'gimchi migration'.

vodka,
It's simple, people in many other countries spend a lot more time going out to get food (either to collect and bring back or eat out) compared to Americans.


Or maybe use mass transit and stop at a local mom and pop store on their way back home.
 
2013-10-06 04:31:50 PM
Those top-bottom two door models would make great caskets if you could cut out the bit in the middle.

Or maybe chop Mammy in half when you bury her. Just a thought.
 
2013-10-06 04:33:14 PM
Never really thought about the size of our icebox, but it's probably about 16 - which I suggest is 'medium' sized.  We really do get huge ones - my mom lives alone and eats dinner with us every day yet has two refrigerators full of food she can't possibly eat!

Wife and I currently live small, we have 800 sf of living space, the kitchen is limited in size, storage minimal and our walkability score out here, 10 miles from town is...surprise...Zero.  This coming from our prior residence with a walkability score of like 95 [hard to remember, it was near the top - we had three supermarkets in walking distance].  But, as we go to town a lot anyway, shopping every couple or three days is not a burden on us.

Now, as to a few other posters:  heck, I live without a TV, but without a refrigerator?  Not while I have AC power thanks.  Goodness, how about a cold beverage?  Small, sure - I can agree that a lot of us could use space more efficiently but none?  Thanks.  I like condiments that don't take me hostage.
 
2013-10-06 04:34:30 PM
I don't know what this article is referring to. I can barely squeeze a ham sandwich there among all the body parts.
 
2013-10-06 04:38:07 PM
To store the speaker of the house should he accidentally stumble up to your front door in the night?
 
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
 
2013-10-06 10:13:47 PM

ReapTheChaos: 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.


I heard at one time, Americans would carried fried chicken in their lunch boxes.  I never tried the idea of carry around fried chicken till lunch, before eating it, so I have no idea how that would work out.  As for cheese, mayonnaise, jelly/jam and other condiments, we don't need to refrigerate most of those.  I would still keep eggs cool, because coming through a supermarket, there is added risk of time since the egg was laid.  The wife is talking of getting chickens, so I would likely not refrigerate fresh eggs as long as we use them quickly.

I speculate the wars that ravaged Europe is part of the reason why refrigeration didn't become so important to them, but I guess having markets close by could mean a less dependence of long term storage.  I do find it odd how it is taking a long time to get Americans to accept the square boxed milk as real milk, just because it is kept as dry stock.  They'll accept soups and soup stocks as canned in the same square boxes, but somehow the milk must already be bad.
 
2013-10-06 10:14:36 PM
Genetics, pee wee.
 
2013-10-06 10:16:57 PM

ReapTheChaos: 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.


No, it isn't. It's just that Americans have been brainwashed into believing that anything that has been out of the fridge for more than an hour will kill them and has to be thrown away. How do these people think the human race survived before refrigerators were invented? And no, everyone didn't live on a farm and slaughtered/picked/harvested everything they ate minutes before eating it. Ships sailed at sea for months and lived on salted beef etc.

Good beef is grey, not red. Game should be hung for a week in 'cool room' temperature, far above fridge temperature, before eating it. Stores in the UK don't even keep eggs chilled, they are just on a shelf at store temperature.
 
2013-10-06 10:20:30 PM

lack of warmth:

I heard at one time, Americans would carried fried chicken in their lunch boxes.  I never tried the idea of carry around fried chicken till lunch, before eating it, so I have no idea how that would work out.


Chicken bought from a KFC or similar will last a couple of days at room temperature and still be safe to eat.
 
2013-10-06 10:32:49 PM
Easily available ice is my sure indicator of a civilized, stable, technologically advanced country. Love you, Europe, but when I get home from visiting you my first order is a soda with ice and a salad dressed with something other than oil and vinegar.
 
2013-10-06 10:36:13 PM
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.

Nobody thinks this though. The author doesn't seem to understand that cooling something isn't the same as freezing it. If you think that putting something in a refrigerator makes it LESS fresh, you're a ninny.
 
2013-10-06 10:40:53 PM

Gleeman: Majick Thise: 3 DVD players

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

curious_dog.jpg


lol not exactly

Amazon prematurely marked down their HDDVD movies right after blu ray won the war. 1$ a piece for most but never more than 4$ per High Definition movie. They did this for one weekend so I bought a ton of them then they raised teh prices again. So I have my LG SuperBlu which plays Bluray and HDDVD I have a Sony that is a 3D bluray player and a Toshiba HDDVD player as a spare red player just in case.
 
2013-10-06 10:55:30 PM

Coco LaFemme: Because unlike Europeans, who tend to go shopping for fresh produce and meats every couple days or so, Americans buy a few weeks worth of food all at once, and we need the space to keep the food cold and fresh until we're ready to eat it.  That, and we don't eat the amount of fresh produce per day a lot of people in other countries do, so buying it every other day makes no fiscal sense.


I've live in Europe for a time, and dealt with the "small fridge" thing. It has its advantages and disadvantages

This is how it goes:

Electricity is high in cost. thats bad. They have small fridges that take less to run. Thats good. The fridge is small, so you have to shop more often. thats bad. Because you are shopping more often, the food is going to be fresher. thats good. You arent the only one who goes shopping more often, so the stores are more crowded. thats bad. Don't worry, your job closes every day for three hours at lunchtime, so you can go to the store. thats good. Oops, national GDP is down because everyone is running the same errands every day and nobody is at work. thats bad.

Like many things, it comes down to a lifestyle choice. Europe tends to do less, and take its time about it, while trying to bring up quality. US is trying to maximize the clock, and that means doing things in bulk, even if it brings the quality down a bit.
 
2013-10-06 10:57:36 PM
A couple years ago when the fridge that came with my house died, I looked into buying a smaller model, as it was rarely more than a quarter full.  What I discovered was that smaller "apartment" fridges in the States are no more efficient than a standard size, upright fridge.

So even though I don't need the fridge space, I bought a full-sized Kenmore fridge.  The freezer is generally pretty well full, and that was another problem with the smaller fridges.

/three blocks from my nearest grocery store
//at least half a dozen grocery stores within three miles of my house
///realized recently I like grocery shopping.
 
2013-10-06 11:04:11 PM
Dwight_Yeast: A couple years ago when the fridge that came with my house died, I looked into buying a smaller model, as it was rarely more than a quarter full.  What I discovered was that smaller "apartment" fridges in the States are no more efficient than a standard size, upright fridge.

They aren't the only thing. The MPG between a Ford Tarus sedan and a F-150 truck is minimal, for instance.
 
2013-10-06 11:32:10 PM
because we're exceptional!
 
2013-10-06 11:37:03 PM

vodka: It's simple, people in many other countries spend a lot more time going out to get food (either to collect and bring back or eat out) compared to Americans.


But hey, let's feel bad about it, I guess. Because Europe just has to make itself feel better they're not us now matter how stupid the subject is.

Seriously? Fridges, now?

/dnrtfa
 
2013-10-06 11:44:36 PM

lack of warmth: ReapTheChaos: 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.

I heard at one time, Americans would carried fried chicken in their lunch boxes.  I never tried the idea of carry around fried chicken till lunch, before eating it, so I have no idea how that would work out.  As for cheese, mayonnaise, jelly/jam and other condiments, we don't need to refrigerate most of those.  I would still keep eggs cool, because coming through a supermarket, there is added risk of time since the egg was laid.  The wife is talking of getting chickens, so I would likely not refrigerate fresh eggs as long as we use them quickly.

I speculate the wars that ravaged Europe is part of the reason why refrigeration didn't become so important to them, but I guess having markets close by could mean a less dependence of long term storage.  I do find it odd how it is taking a long time to get Americans to accept the square boxed milk as real milk, just because it is kept as dry stock.  They'll accept soups and soup stocks as canned in the same square boxes, but somehow the milk must already be bad.


Carrying fried chicken for lunch worked fine for me in junior high school, I did it quite a bit.  You don't need to refrigerate eggs fresh out of the chicken, but once they've been washed, you do.  And you'll freak out Americans if you don't keep your mayo cold, even though it's actually fine.  People get weird about my butter sitting out.

Why would I want room temperature milk?  It's a smaller container, higher price, and isn't as good a product.  I can easily go through a gallon of milk in less than a week, so shelf life isn't going to win any points.  Oh, and the boxed stuff is more processed, it doesn't taste nearly as good as the local farm unhomogenized stuff I've got in the fridge.
 
2013-10-06 11:57:27 PM

DarkVader: Carrying fried chicken for lunch worked fine for me in junior high school, I did it quite a bit.  You don't need to refrigerate eggs fresh out of the chicken, but once they've been washed, you do.  And you'll freak out Americans if you don't keep your mayo cold, even though it's actually fine.  People get weird about my butter sitting out.


I carry fried chicken around -- no problems. I worked a contract a few months back where two of the workers had farms and they would bring eggs in and leave them out for weeks until people took them home. I thought that was weird.

The warm mayo thing does gross me out, since I know from experience that warm mayo outside of a jar seems to just turn back into oil and eggs. When you leave mayo out in an unopened jar and it warms to room temperature (70 - 80 degrees) what do you experience? Is it a warm but white mayo? Or is it a stinky warm puddle of mucous?

Re: butter I've been told it's safe to leave salted butter out, so I do, but I would love to find a cold butter peltier effect plate, plug it in, and it brings the butter temperature to something above refrigeration, something below room temp, because I like spreadable butter, but I do like colder butter.
 
2013-10-07 12:12:10 AM
I have two.  One in the kitchen.  One in the garage (pronounced guh-rahj).
 
2013-10-07 12:12:26 AM
Well, we have a huge fridge for many reasons, but one of the main ones is because a 3-4 tier cake won't fit in an under-counter fridge.
 
2013-10-07 12:51:51 AM

DarkVader: Why would I want room temperature milk?  It's a smaller container, higher price, and isn't as good a product.  I can easily go through a gallon of milk in less than a week, so shelf life isn't going to win any points.  Oh, and the boxed stuff is more processed, it doesn't taste nearly as good as the local farm unhomogenized stuff I've got in the fridge.


I didn't say a thing about room temperature milk, the ability to chill before opening is there.  I've bought the stuff for camping, as I only need to chill ahead what the kids will drink soon.  For a portion of the world, this the only way they can get a steady supply of milk.  Also, if you need to get large supply at a time for long periods of time, the box milk will last nearly as long as canned foods.  As well as a safer way of packing milk in lunches.  It really depends on needs.

I agree about the other stuff, like the eggs, but I wouldn't trust store eggs outside the fridge for long as they are out of the chick for two or three weeks before they are bought.  I think the date on the carton is something like 30 days after laying.

RoyBatty: The warm mayo thing does gross me out, since I know from experience that warm mayo outside of a jar seems to just turn back into oil and eggs. When you leave mayo out in an unopened jar and it warms to room temperature (70 - 80 degrees) what do you experience? Is it a warm but white mayo? Or is it a stinky warm puddle of mucous?

Re: butter I've been told it's safe to leave salted butter out, so I do, but I would love to find a cold butter peltier effect plate, plug it in, and it brings the butter temperature to something above refrigeration, something below room temp, because I like spreadable butter, but I do like colder butter.


I've worked in restaurants that only refrigerated mayo at night, and everyone who freaks out about room temp mayo has had it because it is an industry standard and accepted practice by the health board.  I leave my butter out as long as it doesn't melt in the dish, and it is unsalted.
 
2013-10-07 01:10:13 AM
My money is on a near perfect correlation globally between fridge size and arse size.
I know (anecdotally) that my fat-arse friends and relatives all have excessively sized fridges (especially my Amorphous Aunt Linda). Myself and my skinny friends have smaller than average fridges.
Perhaps a chicken or the egg scenario happening, though.
 
2013-10-07 01:39:09 AM
... because the nearest grocery is 51 miles and we go once every two weeks. Not everyone lives in a big city with a Piggly Wiggly a mile away ...
 
2013-10-07 02:23:35 AM

lack of warmth: ReapTheChaos: 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.

I heard at one time, Americans would carried fried chicken in their lunch boxes.  I never tried the idea of carry around fried chicken till lunch, before eating it, so I have no idea how that would work out.  As for cheese, mayonnaise, jelly/jam and other condiments, we don't need to refrigerate most of those.  I would still keep eggs cool, because coming through a supermarket, there is added risk of time since the egg was laid.  The wife is talking of getting chickens, so I would likely not refrigerate fresh eggs as long as we use them quickly.

I speculate the wars that ravaged Europe is part of the reason why refrigeration didn't become so important to them, but I guess having markets close by could mean a less dependence of long term storage.  I do find it odd how it is taking a long time to get Americans to accept the square boxed milk as real milk, just because it is kept as dry stock.  They'll accept soups and soup stocks as canned in the same square boxes, but somehow the milk must already be bad.


Sorry but I've had that boxed milk, it tastes nothing like fresh. It works fine for cooking/baking but I would never drink it by the glass or pour it on cereal.
 
2013-10-07 02:55:51 AM

Tillmaster: It means more current, actually, which is why the power cables on electric kettles warm up. Less voltage, though.


V = I R

R stays the same, divided V in 2. Seems like you get half the current.
 
2013-10-07 06:39:46 AM
We have large refrigerators because food is cheap in this country.  We're not like the Europeans where they have to work a lot longer than we do so they can buy their groceries.  Another reason we have large refrigerators is because we want them.

Also my fridge does not contribute to air pollution.  If man caused global warming were real, my fridge wouldn't contribute to it.  Around here we split atoms to get our electricity or dam rivers.
 
2013-10-07 07:24:29 AM

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.


Refrigerator is said to be the second most energy-consuming device, but...

"a modern energy-efficient model uses only 350 kWh per year"

Are you kidding?  350kWh is what I use in a month.  I used 2400kWh in one month to run an air conditioner (96% hydro, 4% wind), which was an unpleasant surprise when I got a $518 electric bill.  This was a 1380W 12000BTU window AC that could cool a 400sqft space with 10 foot high ceilings; but alas, poor insulation meant I was getting more than 4kW insolation into my house.  I had the roof painted with an 84% reflective (estimate after several years of weathering) elastomer and that eliminated most of the incoming heat; an insulation job will be undertaken for the winter, but i only pay $300/mo to keep the place heated anyway even down below freezing outdoor temperatures.

350kWh per year equates to roughly 30kWh per month.  Out of 400kWh?  It's not even 10%.
 
2013-10-07 08:41:24 AM
There's a lot of American household items which are designed bigger than in many European nations. I've seen stoves in kitchens that basically take up 1/4 of the available space. Sinks which would look appropriate in restaurant kitchens and counters packed with enough electronic cooking devices to start a store.

European homes are typically much older and don't have the room for US size appliances or furniture. They use small appliances because big ones wont fit.
 
2013-10-07 09:01:44 AM

Flint Ironstag: ReapTheChaos: 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.

No, it isn't. It's just that Americans have been brainwashed into believing that anything that has been out of the fridge for more than an hour will kill them and has to be thrown away.


The USDA says 2 hours actually.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-educatio n/ !ut/p/a1/rVHLbsIwEPyaHi2va_LwkSLxSNUgCBTIBZnESU2xExQX0X59nVQqVVUKSLFPq 5md3dnBMV7iWPODzLmRhea7uo7dNUzAJawHwZiRPozC58n4sdcDP3IsYfUPIaRX9p95Xbj Uv8AxjhNtSvOCV1klK5QU2ght7qCp9m-iarxsduIEJYVShf4GK0suihRVPBPm3cJmLXUqj rV2yXORikrmuqkSmdo5jHHuJB7iDvNQJwMf-cT1kNgAzSh3mev6OLjCutzu93HXGqgXOxq 8bN1Bc5-fewCxfxTSqDMMQgrjzm_CHxF-Ec5ntLIheieFwbQe0Y9mZOA8EBgSHN14uwuCt GVBBm0L3rctePsNSzWfK3-bqQV6nfpAnfLwMcuUWodP3U8mAinS/?1dmy&current=true &urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Ffsis-content%2Ffsis-questionable-content%2Ffood -safety%2Ffood-storage-preparation-and-handling%2Fct_index


How do these people think the human race survived before refrigerators were invented? And no, everyone didn't live on a farm and slaughtered/picked/harvested everything they ate minutes before eating it. Ships sailed at sea for months and lived on salted beef etc.

Well, a lot of people died young for many unknown reasons back then.  Life expectancy for sailors was particularly low.  The very reason that press gangs existed in the first place was to "recruit" men into being sailors to replace the ones who kept on dying.  British ships even resorted to impressing American sailors at sea back in the early 19th century.  It was one of the causes of the War of 1812.
 
kth
2013-10-07 09:50:40 AM

lack of warmth: Re: butter I've been told it's safe to leave salted butter out, so I do, but I would love to find a cold butter peltier effect plate, plug it in, and it brings the butter temperature to something above refrigeration, something below room temp, because I like spreadable butter, but I do like colder butter.

I've worked in restaurants that only refrigerated mayo at night, and everyone who freaks out about room temp mayo has had it because it is an industry standard and accepted practice by the health board. I leave my butter out as long as it doesn't melt in the dish, and it is unsalted.


We have a butter bell for salted butter. It's a little crock that you put upside down in water.  Spreadable butter. Plus it's cute.

static.yuppiechef.com

When we're cooking, we often forget to put the salted butter back in the fridge, we've never had an issue.
 
2013-10-07 10:59:30 AM
Also just to throw this out there... it's said that a full fridge is more efficient than an empty one. This makes some sense to me. If I have 20 gallons of already chilled beer in there and I open the door to get one whatever temperature change there was would be offset by the cold beer still in there. If the fridge had to come on at all it wouldn't have to run as long because of all the cold beer helping return it to its normal temp
 
2013-10-07 11:11:02 AM

Clemkadidlefark: ... because the nearest grocery is 51 miles and we go once every two weeks. Not everyone lives in a big city with a Piggly Wiggly a mile away ...


And if you have to feed two teenage boys. you will need two fridges.  My kids drink about a gallon of milk a day.  Basically at the beginning of the week I have on that is full of just milk (and a few beers for dad) By Friday it is empty.
...
HEY where the heck did my Beer go?!
 
2013-10-07 11:21:44 AM

proteus_b: Tillmaster: It means more current, actually, which is why the power cables on electric kettles warm up. Less voltage, though.

V = I R

R stays the same, divided V in 2. Seems like you get half the current.


Actually the motor has a certain power which is the same whether it is wired for 120V or 240V.
P=IV
If the supplied voltage drops by half the current has to double to produce the same power.
 
2013-10-07 11:34:04 AM

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.
I shop in bulk but top up with a piece of broccoli or whatever daily, from a dedicated fruit and veg store that's cheaper than the supermarket (not everything is cheaper in supermarkets, seems to me it's mainly the sugary stuff that's dirt cheap).
I'm really not trying to be a hipster douche, I just don't run a fridge any more. I used to be pretty damn wealthy and had the whole kitchen bigger than the house I was born in and fridge bigger than my old bedroom... but where I am in life now, with my freak flag ran up the pole again, I'm happy enough living like this thanks.
I doubt it'll catch on, fridges are very convenient. One thing though, in the past I regularly bought too much fresh and threw out stuff that I'd optimistically bought thinking I could use. I don't get waste anymore, there's no fridge to forget I put things in.


That's cool.  I grow my own food 6 months of the year and don't have a grandma to teach me canning (incredibly freaked out about f--king it up and getting botulism, and keep missing the workshops 'round here).  So I made half a gallon of fresh salsa verde yesterday, and most of that's gonna get frozen.  With the fresh pesto and eggplant spread.

But if you're happy, that's cool.  More power to ya!
 
2013-10-07 11:37:04 AM

kth: lack of warmth: Re: butter I've been told it's safe to leave salted butter out, so I do, but I would love to find a cold butter peltier effect plate, plug it in, and it brings the butter temperature to something above refrigeration, something below room temp, because I like spreadable butter, but I do like colder butter.

I've worked in restaurants that only refrigerated mayo at night, and everyone who freaks out about room temp mayo has had it because it is an industry standard and accepted practice by the health board. I leave my butter out as long as it doesn't melt in the dish, and it is unsalted.

We have a butter bell for salted butter. It's a little crock that you put upside down in water.  Spreadable butter. Plus it's cute.

[static.yuppiechef.com image 660x440]

When we're cooking, we often forget to put the salted butter back in the fridge, we've never had an issue.


I really want this Polish pottery butter bell a local store has.  It's like $80 and amazing.

But until then I just keep the butter dish on the counter.  SO works in a bakery and we have roommates, so between fresh bread and hungry people we go through it pretty darn fast anyhow.  Except the few weeks during the summer when it was so damn hot the fans/dehumifier couldn't keep up and we would've had a puddle of butter.

/only miss AC about two weeks of the year
//easy enough to deal with
 
2013-10-07 12:23:53 PM

christ1: proteus_b: Tillmaster: It means more current, actually, which is why the power cables on electric kettles warm up. Less voltage, though.

V = I R

R stays the same, divided V in 2. Seems like you get half the current.

Actually the motor has a certain power which is the same whether it is wired for 120V or 240V.
P=IV
If the supplied voltage drops by half the current has to double to produce the same power.


You can't change current directly.

Current flow is governed by resistance and electrical potential (voltage).  Think of voltage as a pressure difference (i.e. height and gravity in an elevated water system, air or water pressure in a pneumatic or hydraulic system), and resistance as a measure of resistance to such pressure (narrow tubes, bends, shiat in the way, etc.).  In a water or air system, high-pressure through a narrow tube meets resistance until the tube bursts; in an electrical system, high voltage in a high resistance system will emit heat until the component breaks by overheating or just under electrical pressure (i.e. silicone diodes and microchips, even if cooled, just can't take extremely high voltages).

Current measures how much electricity actually moves.  With water, higher pressure causes water moving down a pipe with so much surface in the cross-section to move at higher speed; with electricity, higher voltage causes the same sort of thing.  Multiply the speed by the cross-section and you get a volume of water--or with electricity, multiply the current by the voltage and you get the amount of actual power delivered.

You can't just make shiat go faster.  Apply more pressure or widen the tubes.  A motor with 120V and 240V taps has enough windings to run on 240V, with another tap at a different point for the correct number of windings to run exactly the same on 120V.  The impedance characteristics of the motor with 240V on tap A are the same as with 120V on tap B; the motor acts sort of like a transformer (or an inductor, really).

Because copper is expensive, it's cheaper to just make the motor with the fewer windings and use a different transformer.  On the other hand, your motor needs to be large enough to dissipate the heat--a 5V motor with few windings might draw 48A of current at 5V (or 2A of current at 120V), but it's going to melt unless very large gauge wire is used.  A large, heavy 240V motor with plenty of windings on thin copper wire will run without heating up enough to damage itself.  Remember you need quite a lot of power to crank over that compressor.
 
2013-10-07 01:52:04 PM
I'm so sick of this myth that Europeans are so superior and they go to the market everyday to buy fresh vegetables. Every European city I've been to, the people eat like children (cheese sandwiches, baked beans, lots of pastries) and they don't really cook food (a visit to a local "super" market will make it clear that groceries are crappy and expensive). They eat out for most meals or buy microwavable stuff, and they certainly don't entertain very often in their home (if they do it's probably just a cheese plate). If you don't need ingredients, you don't need a fridge.

I live in a city (Philly) and I have a very large standalone fridge and a very small standalone freezer. My fridge has a lot of bulk food (meat and vegetables) in it because I don't want to drive to the supermarket everyday (yes I have to drive even though I live in a city because there are no good supermarkets here). We also have quite a lot of beer taking up an entire shelf in the fridge. I also need a wide fridge that can fit things like baking trays, since I make a lot of things from scratch. When people come over, I don't just pull out a bag of chips, I actually make a meal for them, so again I need the extra space. I really don't think any of the "enlightened" Europeans have the same issues.
 
2013-10-07 02:42:58 PM
I have 2 fridges both big and I have a large deep freeze (full large fridge size) that I don't use cause I don't cook much and can't afford to fill that bad boy up even if I knew what to buy
 
2013-10-07 03:12:03 PM
Because here in amurrica, the supermarkets are so far fraggin' away from where people live that they don't usually just stop and pick stuff up every day like they do in places like Japan and France. Of course in places like New York city it's possible (and convenient) to stop by bread shops and greengrocers and butcher shops to pick up fresh stuff every day because they may be on your way home, but in flyover country and many places on the west coast that isn't as much a reality.
Buy once a week or every other week (I shop once a month or more for frozen and canned, every two or three weeks for fresh stuff like milk and veggies, but I buy only for myself), and store it. For that schedule, you need space.
 
2013-10-07 11:25:09 PM
Cause bestbuy has 0% financing for 18 months....
 
2013-10-07 11:26:20 PM

rewind2846: Of course in places like New York city it's possible (and convenient) to stop by bread shops and greengrocers and butcher shops to pick up fresh stuff every day because they may be on your way home, but in flyover country and many places on the west coast that isn't as much a reality.


www.brettrush.com

This is Trader Joes on a "normal" day in some manhattan areas. Not exactly the easiest here to 'pop in and grab some milk. You are better off getting some grade D Malk at the bodega.
 
2013-10-07 11:32:10 PM

Persnickety: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-educatio n/ !ut/p/a1/rVHLbsIwEPyaHi2va_LwkSLxSNUgCBTIBZnESU2xExQX0X59nVQqVVUKSLFPq 5md3dnBMV7iWPODzLmRhea7uo7dNUzAJawHwZiRPozC58n4sdcDP3IsYfUPIaRX9p95Xbj Uv8AxjhNtSvOCV1klK5QU2ght7qCp9m-iarxsduIEJYVShf4GK0suihRVPBPm3cJmLXUqj rV2yXORikrmuqkSmdo5jHHuJB7iDvNQJwMf-cT1kNgAzSh3mev6OLjCutzu93HXGqgXOxq 8bN1Bc5-fewCxfxTSqDMMQgrjzm_CHxF-Ec5ntLIheieFwbQe0Y9mZOA8EBgSHN14uwuCt GVBBm0L3rctePsNSzWfK3-bqQV6nfpAnfLwMcuUWodP3U8mAinS/?1dmy¤t=true &urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Ffsis-content%2Ffsis-questionable-content%2Ffood -safety%2Ffood-storage-preparation-and-handling%2Fct_index


Now THAT is a URL. Can anyone explain the length?
 
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