Have you ever wondered what our ancestors did without refrigeration? How were they able to prevent their food from spoiling? Some of our ancient civilizations did in fact have refrigeration and used simple items they had on hand to create it.
The zeer, or clay pot refrigeration keeps food cool (icy cold) without electricity by using evaporative cooling. Essentially, a porous outer earthenware pot, lined with wet sand, contains an inner pot (which can be glazed to prevent penetration by the liquid) within which the food is placed. The evaporation of the outer liquid draws heat from the inner pot.
In a short or long-term disaster where power is out, knowing essential skills on how to prevent foods from spoiling will help you survive longer and stay healthier. Further, having this simple device can also help you have a diverse diet during a disaster and prolong food fatigue. The best part is that making this device is incredibly cheap, very effective, and doesn’t require any electricity, which is perfect for those disasters where the power is affected and you have no fuel to power your generators.
All that is needed to create a clay pot refrigerator is two terra cotta pots, one larger than the other, as well as some sand, water, and cloth. To make the “fridge”, you just put one pot inside the other, and fill up the spaces with wet sand, which keeps the inside of the pots cold. You will also need to put a wet towel over the top to keep the warm air and light from getting in.
Rather than re-inventing the wheel, perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our ancient ancestors. Using what they had available to them, our ancestors seemed to have many of the modern day conveniences we have today.