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Rural Refrigeration
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The EHFA realized that many farmers were still too poor to afford personal refrigerators. They offered farmers large walk-in coolers, which could be shared by a group of farmers. The British writer Odette Keun wrote about the need for refrigeration in her 1937 book, A Foreigner Looks at TVA.


Without refrigeration, the farmer usually has fresh beef and mutton only during the very few cold winter months, although he may have animals to kill. in the hot months, he does not dare to kill for self-use unless he can consume everything at once, for he has no means of cold-storaging the meat, and it goes bad. (Listen to this: in four southern States loss from spoilage of one commodity alone--pork--has been estimated as 25 per cent of the value of all hogs slaughtered on farms, or over eight million dollars for these four States in terms of market value. Isn't such waste wicked! If the farmers had refrigeration facilities it couldn't occur.) With refrigeration, farm families can have fresh meat at any time, regardless of weather conditions. But they don't have refrigeration, for though refrigerators for community storage of fresh meat do exist, they have been designed for retail marketing and not for the farmers, and thus are much too elaborate and expensive for the latter's purse. TVA, full of solicitude, built a unit which is priced at about 650 dollars, so if ten or twelve families get together, they can purchase this "walk-in cooler" at a cost of 55 to 65 dollars per family. Other units are to be used for the cold storage of eggs, vegetables, milk; they meet all sorts of individual farm and community needs. The construction of these units would mean a volume of business of about 200,000 dollars to the manufacturers of the Valley; the elimination of loss from spoilage; and the improvement of the farmers' diet. (That general diet of theirs lies on my own stomach: why, I can't conceive of the poorest of poor French peasants eating as unhygienically, dismally, and barbarically as I've constantly seen American farmers do!)

[From A Foreigner Looks at TVA, by Odette Keun, Longmans, Green and Co. (New York, 1937), p. 47, 48.]