Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cold Comfort

I have an antique icebox at home, from the early 1900's.  In the scheme of things it really wasn't all that long ago that a family needed the services of an iceman to keep it replenished.   And that family likely included four or five children.  The icebox had to be used wisely.

For the  most part, I now take my fridge for granted, along with food that comes from all over the world at all seasons, brought home and stuffed into an overflowing compartment.

My fridge seems to be a black hole of sorts.  Or maybe a very cold compost unit.  Things get lost in there!  It is so deep the goods at the back are out of sight and out of mind.  I'm embarrassed by the food I throw out.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation, close to half the food produced worldwide is actually wasted. It's a shocking statistic.  Part of the problem is packaging that forces people to buy more than they need, poor planning, not using up leftovers... I'm guilty and hoping to change my habits.  Design helps make a difference.

The kitchen reno is a great opportunity to re-think refrigeration and get an appliance that can be used more consciously.

We decided counter-depth was the way to go to help keep foods more visible. Originally I thought a side-by-side model would work in my kitchen because of the shallow doors,  but then one of my book buddies warned me against it.  They'd purchased this type and couldn't stand the space that was wasted by dividing the fridge right down the middle. Another drawback for me was that at least one of the doors would be opening at an awkward angle.  The half-width also limits the size of trays that can be chilled for entertaining.  So bottom freezer it was.

There's not a lot out there for counter-depth freezer bottoms. Liebherr's European styling looks great. The BioFresh technology is similar to SubZero, keeping foods fresher for longer.

I figure I'll be saving money because #1 I'll know what's in my fridge #2 it will stay fresher longer #3 it has Energy Star ratings.

Consumer Reports didn't rank this one, and depending on the source the brand gets mixed peer reviews.  I'm starting to get a bit suspicious of those sites anyway, wondering how many comments are left by the marketers themselves. The salesman we're using has told us he hasn't gotten any complaints on the Liebherrs he's sold (and says his customers wouldn't hesitate to let him know if there were problems). I guess we'll see.

In the meantime I'm reading up on how to best organize the fridge once I get it, and rethinking where and how I shop for fresh produce.


Annika said...

We are also in the midst of planning our kitchen reno. Bulk heads and floors are being removed shortly. Here's a good link to counter depth fridges.

Annika said...
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Annika said...

We're considering a split-door fridge, with pullout freezer at bottom. You'll end up with shallow doors but the fridge is not divided inside.. Especially good when room is tight.

Kurt said...

We need to get a new fridge, but we're avoiding the decision because I know I will spend (waste?) many hours looking at all the options.

Carô said...

I can so relate to the fridge and waste that you write about! Just this week I cleaned out the "rot drawers" and took it all to the cows at the fence! Wilted celery, blackened cabbage, rotten carrots and soft apples. The beasts enjoyed it all and it makes me feel better that I'm not throwing it into the composter.

Cynthia Rhose said...

My grandmother has an antique ice box that I simply adore. It seems like things from the old days had such a wonderful charm about them. I think that like you I take my fridge for granted sometimes. I can't imagine having to wait for the assistance of an ice man for help.
Cynthia |