By R. Cui and T. Yu

Past

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Kitchen storage, a place to store food and cooking tools.  Back to ancient times, there is no storage as we mean of today, people used different methods to preserve food.  The preservation of harvested and prepared food for future consumption is one of the oldest practical arts, a necessity that developed from the sheer need to survive in a hostile environment where fresh food was not always available. Ages-old food preservation techniques include drying, smoking, cooling, freezing, fermenting, salting, pickling, and canning.

One of the most ancient methods of food preservation is sun or air-drying. Drying works because it removes much of the food’s water. Without adequate water, microorganisms cannot multiply and chemical activities greatly slow down. Dried meat was one of the earliest staple foods of hunters and nomads. Once fire was discovered, prehistoric cave dwellers heat-dried meat and fish, which probably led to the development of smoking as another way to preserve these foods.  The Phoenicians of the Middle East air-dried fish.  Ancient Egyptians stockpiled dried grains.  Native North Americans produced a nutritious food called pemmican by grinding together dried meat, dried fruit, and fat.

Early northern societies quickly learned that coolness as well as freezing helped preserve foods.  Microbe growth and chemical changes slow down at low temperatures and completely stop when water is frozen. Earthenware jars was used as a coolant in 2500 B.C. by Egyptians and East Indians.  Ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans stored ice and mountain snow in cellars or icehouses to keep food cool.

Salting, which also inhibits bacteria growth, was a preferred method of preserving fish as early as 3500 B.C. in the Mediterranean world, and also was practiced in ancient China.

Since during the old times, people need to use the very complicate and primitive methods to preserve their food, the kitchens turn to take large space and packed with many big tools.  Various culinary functions were separated and new rooms were dedicated to them. Larders, pantries, root cellars, smokehouses, and icehouses were built for specific kinds of food storage and processing.

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Present

The size of kitchen storage has been largely reduced nowadays thanks to the advance of the technology and society.   People can get grocery and food anytime from multiple places including market, online-store, using different devices such as computers or cell-phones.   The majority use of storage in kitchen is in 2 areas: multi-function storage and refrigerator.  As for the objects been storage, there are two main categories: food and tools.

The food been stored in the kitchen are mostly two kinds: freezers and thawing food; dry food.  For freezers and thawing food, such as meat, fish, wine and vegetables, we use refrigerator  so we have totally control of the temperature.  A refrigerator is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the kitchen for keeping foods safe.  These electric units are so commonplace today, we forget a refrigerator was once little more than a box with a block of ice used to supply a rather undependable source of cold air.  But we are instantly reminded of its importance to our daily lives when the power goes off or the unit fails, putting our food’s safety in jeopardy.

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For the storage of cooking tools and equipment, for example,  pan, pots, dishes and knifes, the storage has much to consider in terms of how people will use them as well as how often they will use them.  So for most of the time, the storage for kitchen tool and equipment is to organize the layout of cabinets and drawers.

Kitchen storage containers are intended for storage of such dry products, as salt, sugar, a flour, rice, various groats, pasta, bean, nuts, dried fruits, dried mushrooms and etc.

Kitchen cabinets are the built-in furniture installed in many kitchens for storage of food, cooking equipment, and often silverware and dishes for table service.  Appliances such as refrigeratorsdishwashers, and ovens are often integrated into kitchen cabinetry.  There are many options for cabinets today.

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Future

Portable Body Measuring Device    

In the past, when hunting and gathering were the main methods of obtaining food, people need to figure out ways to preserve enough food so they will not starve if the hunting is not going well.  But as the technologies and science developed, people could preserve foods longer and safer. With the help of kitchen appliances, foods were kept in the kitchens with various systems.  The forms and sizes of the storage system have been changing— they are getting simplified and smaller.

In the future, as we can see in many Science fiction movies, many parts of human’s life will be controlled by computer system. Moreover, everyone will have portable device which can examine human’s physical condition and the data gathered from the device will be sent to the main system that process them. With this system, computer will let human know what kind of ingredient they need and how much they may want to take. As a result, people will get healthier. For each individual, their data will be sent to restaurants, grocery stores, or farms. These businesses will know exactly what food or ingredient to prepare for a single individual that will better suited for their health needs.

Delivery System

In the future, transportation system will be changed. We can see the predictable future transportation, a kind of “flying car” in the movie “The Fifth Element”.  People might live high raised buildings and can access to their home directly from outdoor with flying car. Also the food or ingredients will be delivered directly towards customers at their home. These deliveries will be pushed into the “new wall storing system” with “modular system”.

Photo Courtesy of R. Cui and T.

Modular System

Each Box has different functions based on what kind of food or tools it holds. They are equipped with temperature control system that can provide drying, cooling, heat, warm or other settings.

How Will The Storage System Be Changed?

Module boxes of all different functions will be inserted directly to the wall from delivery truck outside and stored in the wall just as it is. People live inside can pull out the box when they need it. The contents in the boxed are already loaded with food or ingredients that are prepared based on the data from the “portable body measuring system”. The other benefit of this system is that since the food and ingredients are based on the needs of the individual, it will reduce the amount of waste that may generate. The delivery truck will pick up the empty boxes. The storage becoming cycling in a much larger system.

Photo Courtesy of R. Cui and T. Yu

This system have several advantages:

  • Saving Energy, Time, System.
  • Efficiency.
  • Sustainable
  • Green Design.
  • Good for health

Bibliography

 Past

http://www.umich.edu/~kelseydb/Exhibits/Food/text/store.html

http://acswebcontent.acs.org/landmarks/landmarks/frozen/fro2.html

http://www.gourmet.com/food/gourmetlive/2012/041812/kitchens-through-the-ages

http://chemcases.com/fluoro/fluoro01.htm

http://ammonastery.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/roman-food-lalimentation-romaine/

http://www.gourmet.com/food/gourmetlive/2012/041812/kitchens-through-the-ages

Present

http://www.gaggenau.com

http://hometools.onsugar.com/Kitchen-Storage-12920360

http://www.kitcheninstallation.org/kitchen-remodel/big-function-in-small-kitchen-kitchen-remodel-ideas-for-small-kitchens.html/attachment/modular-kitchen-storage-for-small-kitchen

http://www.airtightcontainers.org/different-materials-for-airtight-containers/

Future

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fifth_Element

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/

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