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 :-/