Who Needs a Refrigerator? This Woman Says None of Us Do

An eco-minded new storage system removes food from the refrigerator and onto modern-looking shelves that take an old-fashioned approach to preserving food

Appliance-wise, the refrigerator invariably takes up the most space in our kitchens. And while we might be enamored with our sleek, stainless steel ice boxes, they might not be all that necessary, even causing some foods (especially produce) to spoil more quickly than if they weren't chilled.  

Treehugger, a website covering green news, recently spoke to Korean designer Jihyun Ryou whose project, Save Food From The Fridge, is inspired by centuries old, fridge-less food storage. Her wall-mounted storage solutions are sleek and modern but the ideas behind them were inspired by her grandmother and old-fashioned methods of food preservation. 

Root vegetables are stored roots-down in wet sand, mimicking the way that they grow. Potatoes are stored in a modern-day root cellar, an enclosed wooden box with holes on top where apples can be stored. According to Ryou, "Apples emit a lot of ethylene gas. It has the effect of speeding up the ripening process of fruits and vegetables kept together with apples. When combined with potatoes, apples prevent them from sprouting."

And eggs? While the USDA recommends storing eggs in the refrigerator to prevent the spread of salmonella, many people throughout the world store eggs at room temperature. Ryou's egg-holding shelf comes complete with a bowl of water used to check freshness -- if it sinks you're good to go, but if it floats you've got an old egg on your hands.

Aside from being pleasing to the eye and a welcome addition to any modern kitchen, these food storage shelves might keep your produce fresher, which will save you some serious dough on your grocery bill. And of course, if there are less items in your fridge, you can downsize to a smaller model, which will also reduce your energy costs.

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