This guy from NYC is too cool for his refrigerator.
Josh Spodek, a Manhattan resident, has stopped using his fridge for over a year—sacrificing the everyday appliance and its benefits in hopes of living a more sustainable life.
Spodek, who lives in Greenwich Village, has spent the past 12 months cutting back on waste in his home, identifying his fridge as the biggest source of electricity use.
So, the 51-year-old decided to see if he could go on without it and unplugged it.
Spodek has now gone more than 12 months without chilling its food or beverages, calling it “a mind-set change after continuous improvement”.
“People in Manhattan lived without refrigeration until the middle of the 20th century, so it’s clearly possible,” he said. associated Press.
Spodek said that from November to early spring the food can usually be kept on his windowsill for about two days. it also helps He is a vegetarian and does not eat meat or diary – Products that may pose a significant health risk if not refrigerated.
“In the winter, it’s just beets and carrots and potatoes and onions, plus dried beans and grains,” he said. “You take what you have and you make it taste good and now I just have to eat what I buy before it goes bad, or pickle it so it lasts a while.”
Initially, Executive Coach said he started unplugging his refrigerator for three months in the winter.
“I honestly wasn’t sure I could survive a week without it. I didn’t really have a plan for how I was going to function without it,” he said. “But I figured it wouldn’t kill me, and I could always put it on again.”
The next year, Spodek, who is also an assistant professor at NYU, decided to take it off for six months before plunging into a full-on fridge-free life.
He found that he didn’t really need it at all.
according to US Department of Agriculture, The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in the kitchen for keeping food safe.
“Refrigeration slows the growth of bacteria. Bacteria are present everywhere in nature. They are in soil, air, water and in the foods we eat,” the agency explained. “When they have nutrients (food) , moisture and favorable temperatures, they multiply rapidly, increasing in number to the point where certain types of bacteria can cause disease.”
The USDA states that “bacteria grow most rapidly in a temperature range between 40 F and 140 F, some doubling in as little as 20 minutes,” so a refrigerator “set at 40 F or lower will prevent the loss of most foods.” Will be protected.”
Spodek still cooks at home using ingredients purchased from farmers markets and agricultural cooperatives. He also uses an electric pressure cooker powered by a portable solar panel and battery pack, which he carries up 11 flights of stairs to his terrace.
He said of his ritual, it is “almost spiritual”.
Spodek stresses that he’s not against using the fridge, but thinks people should try to unplug it — especially in colder months.
“If everyone could live without a fridge for two weeks out of the year,” he said, “it would save an extraordinary amount of electricity.”