Eh, sounds silly. That article totally missed the point.
I live in an apartment, and I have those old top-freezer refrigerator.
I also happen to have a root cellar. But since the fridge is so empty, I still throw anything and everything in there.
I need to use the freezer for meat, so I might as well fill-up the fridge to prevent energy waste, right?
If I ever have my own house, though, I might preserve/cure/age meats/sausage without a freezer like my mother used to. I'm sure I'll still buy a little freezer to keep regular cuts of meat in, though..
When I was growing up, our fridge wasn't in the kitchen.
You had to walk through the kitchen, dinning room, the hallway, and go into the laundry room. That's where the fridge and freezer were. Because.. we didn't use them much!
When my mother wanted potatoes, she would tell me to go to the adega (cellar), but for other vegetables and fruits, she would simply tell me to go to the garden. Who needs a fridge when you have a garden? =) We had a big pantry too, about the size of an average american bedroom. And then there was another room where we kept smoked/cured meat and sausage.
We only had a fridge because my dad liked cold water =) That and the milk, and holiday foods/desserts.
How to Build a Root Cellar for Food Storage - Modern Homesteading - MOTHER EARTH NEWS - Build a Root Cellar
How to Preserve Food Without Refrigeration - MOTHER EARTH NEWS - Real Food - Preserve Food Without Refrigeration
Those should give those interested an introduction to the topic, but there are also some great books out there.
I think if you're designing a home, though, the idea of alternative food storage is useful to keep in mind, especially for those of us who didn't grow up with those practices. We're considering building a net-zero home (that could potentially run off-grid), and most modern home designs don't consider food storage alternatives. Needing less fridge space means you can run a smaller fridge and put less drain on your solar cells. Part of net-zero design includes reducing usage as well as generating one's own power.
“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde
I've also discovered that it's fairly hard to find information on refrigerator-less food storage! I've been doing some experimenting but it's a bit hit or miss. I unfortunately DON'T have a pantry or basement so I'm stuck with storing things at a fairly high temperature (for food storage). But I've figured out a few things! Like tomatoes keep for just about forever (although they do get pretty wrinkly!) if I just leave them on the counter. In contrast they get mouldy pretty quickly in the fridge!
Hmm, you could also preserve the tomatoes! I think canned tomatoes (or tomato sauce) are disgusting, but there are other ways! You could make lacto-fermented salsa... or preserve them in olive oil! I can vouch for David, it's true that those olive oil tomatoes are great with goat cheese =)
I get a lot of books from the library, and I can recommend these:
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It (later in the book it has a chapter on how to store food)
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables (jumps around a bit, but explains things well)
Oh, about net-zero living, I'm thinking about that too, though half-heartedly since the boyfriend doesn't care about it.
I saw you're from Canada, I'm in Maine so I'm doubting how well net-zero living would work when 3/4s of the year it's so cold.. but.. I guess you can always find something positive.. since it's so cold, we wouldn't need a fridge! ;-)