My favorite room in my house is the kitchen. I check the refrigerator almost every time I go into my kitchen, as I’m sure many other can agree. It is an important part of our lives whether we are aware of it or not. The invention of the refrigerator has shaped the world’s food system and revolutionized our idea of the kitchen. It is the backbone to societies modern day eating habits. Because you can consolidate and cluster everything due to technological advances, food such as meat were made much cheaper. This decrease in costs perpetuated dietary changes. This greater accessibility to food caused dietary changes which indicated increased body masses. I never thought about the consequences that refrigeration has on culture. For example, in the colonial ages cattle were slaughtered primarily in the colder months in order for the butcherer to be able to freeze it and save it. Obviously, now that is not the case. The same goes for fruit! Only summer delicacies were available before refrigeration. Now, you can have any fruit from virtually anywhere in the world every month of the year. The fridge redefined the term “fresh.” It caused foods to last longer – but does this mean they are still fresh? Supposedly, yes… The invention of the fridge in turn caused the “sell by” date stamp to be normalized, caused meat and fish markets to skyrocket (people could consume more and save it rather than just purchase what they could use per meal.) This flips the waste onto the consumer rather than the seller. The Chinese are even revolutionizing the way fish is saved. This culture requires fish to stay alive until just before their immediate consumption. Recently they have began to deoxygenate and chill live fish in big tanks for shipping. Once reaching their destination they pull the lid off and warm the water so that the fish wake up again. All in all, the refrigerator is a big part of our lives whether we like it or not. Just open up the door and look inside, it is highly probably you would be able to figure out what that person is like based on their fridge. Think about it. What does your fridge look like and what does that mean about you?
I thought that the most interesting part of the lecture was the part about smog. I find it extremely interesting that they can re-create the chemical composition of the air in different cities across the world and expose foods to it to show how the air quality changes the tastes of foods. I’m unsure how this correlates with refrigeration but I thought it was an interesting additive.