Deep freeze

No, I’m not talking about the weather — that’s been relatively warm.  My reply to a recent post by Mama Gone Green got me thinking about our deep freeze (i.e., chest freezer).

From the time we’ve brought it home over three years ago, we’ve maintained a full fifteen cubic foot deep freeze.  Depending on the time of year, exact contents vary, but they include bulk dry goods (flour, nuts, etc.), homemade baked goods (bread, cookies, muffins), and garden- and locally-grown veggies and fruit.

My reply to the afore-mentioned post, where I mentioned our freezer, made me wonder, “How green is our deep freeze?”

Green

  • Freezing garden and local produce helps us eat more local food more of the year.
  • Using the freezer to store bulk dry goods minimizes trips to the store and packaging.
  • Minimizes the potential for food waste if dry goods were stored at room temperature, with the risk of moths or other pests.
  • Allows us to “bake in bulk,” making and freezing multiple loaves of bread and double batches of relatively healthy muffins and cookie snacks as well as yummy desserts.
  • Baking in bulk makes better use of heating the oven and minimizes our use of prepackaged foods.

Not Green

  • Well, the energy needed to run the freezer, though it was NOT the energy hog we first feared.
  • And, although we do a very good job of using/eating everything we freeze, having the freezer can lead to overdoing things, i.e., purchasing/preserving more than we really need, which can lead to food waste.

We picked a chest freezer to minimize the the first item in the “Not Green” list — chest freezers are much more efficient than upright freezers, as relatively little cold is lost in opening and closing them (on the downside, they are a bit trickier to organize and use when it comes to finding a particular item).

So, do the “Greens” outweigh the “Not Greens?”  Objectively, I don’t know, but they present a fairly strong case.  Many of the items on the “Green” list are benefits for us, in-and-of themselves, especially with the garden produce to preserve and our love for cooking and baking.  I don’t see the freezer going anywhere soon, although we are realizing that it’s size may limit some of our housing options :-/

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12 Responses to Deep freeze

  1. I say absolutely, yes. While a deep freeze does require energy (so does a computer though, right?), it is not usually opened and closed as often, maintaining a more constant temp. We use our deep freeze for our half cow of MO Grass-fed beef and storing veggies purchased in season. In return, we can go to the store less often (gas), support local farmers, and eat better.

  2. EcoCatLady says:

    I love my freezer too, but it is a challenge not to lose things in there! Lately I’ve noticed frost developing inside the seal near the hinges… have you ever experienced that? I’m wondering if maybe it needs adjusting.

    I have a somewhat crazy system that, at least in my mind, makes the freezer more efficient. I basically pile all of the extra blankets and pillows on top. I don’t know how much difference this makes, but I do know that when I take the blankets off to open the freezer, the ones on the bottom of the pile are good and cold. I assume that means they’re doing their job. It does make it a bit of a chore to open, because you have to uncover it first, but on the flip-side, it gives me a place to store the extra blankets!

    • Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      I’m not sure about frost on the seal, but we are due for a good defrost. It will probably just wait until we move at this point.

      For organizing, we use spare cloth bags and pillowcases to group similar items and a whiteboard for inventory. It’s not perfect — sometimes we forget to mark off an item and we still have to dig for what we want at times, but it’s much better than completely random.

      Hmmm, I’ve never noticed the top of our freezer being particularly cold, but maybe you’re on to something.

      • EcoCatLady says:

        OK… and inventory… that is an excellent idea! And the pillow cases… never thought of something like that. I fear my poor freezer is a bit of a disaster, and I’m not entirely sure what’s lurking in there, especially near the bottom. Just the other day I was “freezer diving” for some of CatMan’s favorite bread when I came upon a tub of potato kale soup, which was just what I’d been craving… SCORE!

        OK, so the treasure hunt aspect does have its charms, but I do think it would be better to actually know what’s in there!

  3. Tracy says:

    I wondered about the efficiency and cost of deep freeze (both purchase cost and running cost) so we held off on the purchase. That is until my “liquid gold” exceeded the space available in family deep freezes. So, now we have one and I love it. I do have an easy solution for the cold digging through a full deep freeze to get the wanted item. First, find a partner who loves your cooking, then tell him what you are needing. Problem solved. Don’t tell my husband my plan to make him so happy with food i get to avoid digging through the tundra. 🙂

  4. we would like to invest in a deep freeze soon too! what about canning? i”m hoping to can this summer. I specifically want to can homemade tomato-based sauces with fresh tomatoes from the garden, and possibly other things too? Some things are best stored frozen though.

    • Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Christine, we can as well as freeze. We’ve mostly canned tomatoes and tomato sauces, although we’ve done some jams and one batch of applesauce as well. Last summer, we bought a pressure canner, which allows you to safely can low-acid things, like green beans. For tomatoes and many fruit-based items, you can just use water-bath canning. Freezing is great for berries and any time you want vegetables to retain more texture and flavor, as well as for baked goods and bulk dry goods.

  5. Pingback: How to buy a used freezer | Her Green Life

  6. Pingback: Using up and starting anew | Her Green Life

  7. I want to buy the 22cu feet please call me at 201 654 1951

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