Living without a Fridge

img_20161030_1736031During the summer months, food can go bad in no time. Whether you store your groceries in your vehicle, your backpack, behind a bush, or inside a storage container, the heat will spoil many items rather quickly. Don´t think that changes during winter; although many food items will stay fresh longer, quite a few, including vegetables, don´t do so well in freezing cold temperatures.

No fridge – no Problem

Certain foods keep just fine without refrigeration, while others simply need to be consumed a little quicker. Make sure to check your food thoroughly before consuming it; this includes the inside of fruits and vegetables. Unopened food items last longer than opened ones.

As a rule of thumb, anything canned can safely be stored outside. However, that doesn´t mean that your food won´t change. In summer and winter alike, anything solid will slowly but surely transform into a liquid with each major temperature change. I´ve experiences this with potato soup before; by the time I was ready to eat it, there were barely any chunks of potato left. I`ve had canned emergency soups in the back of my car for months without any problems. Have you tried the canned version of your favorite fruits and veggies? My favorites are canned pineapple, baby corn, and mixed vegetables.

6b2cbb33-ca69-4db1-a2a9-059d9f69722f_1-1b0e9f914bc540d2b7c3c41f6fc8bf83102d41ed-6773-42d8-aeed-e430eb03c1d3_1-4206df2a717eca81e3eaf958a1e62944

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be stored without refrigeration for about a week depending on the temperature and kind of food. In my experience, kiwis, bananas, avocados, carrots, grapes, and cucumbers last the longest, while bell peppers and tomatoes go bad rather quickly. Berries of any kind, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, go bad within a couple of days. Vegetables that completely freeze tend to turn to mush upon defrosting.

Beverages, such as ice tea and orange juice, last just fine during the winter, although you may encounter solidly frozen liquids instead of your favorite drink. During the summer, you don´t want to keep opened juice bottles for longer than a week.

Anything dried, such as cereal, crackers, and oats, will last as long as it takes you to eat it. No worries here. This leads to an amazing conclusion: If you can find a dried version of you favorite food, you can store it much longer. For example, I am really excited about dried milk. It lasts forever (figuratively speaking) and, depending on the brand, tastes just like regular milk. Just add water! Similiarily, I´ve discovered dried hummus, soups, instant meals, oatmeal, instant mashed potatoes, and more; all of which you don´t have to worry about spoiling.

6c178cb2-4405-47c7-bb50-f83b30437e7e_1-6c94608e93ce6d061a0195234baee50f51vtowtcx5l

Bread seems to last as long outside as it does inside. Jelly may spoil within a couple weeks, while honey may crystallize, but doesn´t go bad. Peanut butter seems to last forever, probably due to its high fat content.

DO NOT consume fresh animal-based products that have been left without refrigeration. This includes, but is not limited to, fresh meat, milk, eggs, sea food, yogurt, and cheese. Don´t risk it. Best case scenario, you´ll be worshiping the porcelain god for a couple days. Worst case scenario, you find yourself at the hospital with some unpronounceable illness.

Keeping food fresh longer

Personally, I´ve always kept my groceries in a “food box”. This can be any box really, however, a thick-walled plastic container with lid works best. Makes sure to insulate your box as much as possible; covering your box with a blanket helps a lot. If you keep your food inside your vehicle during the summer, try to park in the shade and use window shades to keep the inside cool.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Living without a Fridge

    • Thank you! I try to eat out maybe once every couple of weeks, because I don´t want to spend too much money on food. Plus, restaurants are not half as exciting as a vegetarian. Take care and stay warm!

      Like

        • It depends on where I set up camp for the night! In the city, it has been relatively mild with day-time temperatures in the 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s. We had a few nights in the upper 20’s, but it’s been mostly in the 40’s.
          It started snowing in the mountains a couple weeks ago and gets below freezing pretty much every night.

          Like

  1. All I can add to all this good information is that in Vancouver B.C. the amount of fresh food that is tossed out daily is significant and that a homeless person who becomes a student of the rhythms of the neighbourhood that they paradoxically call home can, at the very least, find fresh vegetables when they want them.

    Like

    • You know, I wish I could do more of that! I am in this strange balance between wilderness and society, which makes it difficult to fully belong to either one. As soon as I leave nature and my vehicle, I am suddenly expected to be one of those respected members of society. And as such, one doesn’t gather food from places other people consider trash. Instead, you’ll find me patiently waiting for events at the library or local University to end, so I can make sure their leftover sandwiches, pizzas, and BBQ ends up in my belly instead of the trash can.

      Like

What´s on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s