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We just had a new question of a type we have never had before:

What is 'adequate' refrigerated space for a single person

I would normally argue that, if something is not forbidden, then it's allowed to stay open. But I see two ways in which the question, while not crossing any borders by its wording, might invite the wrong type of answer:

  • One way to answer it would be for everybody to report their personal experience with the amount of fridge space they have seen used, contributing it as one of many data points. This would make the question a "poll" question, in the sense that it recognizes that there are many different, equally good positions, and everybody can report what is the norm in their household. If this is the type of answers we can expect, it should be closed, because this is against the Stack Exchange format.
  • Another way to answer it would be to take "average" numbers for the amount of food a person should eat, the frequency this person goes should go shopping, and calculate the volume of food. But the fact is that different people eat different things, and the volume of food and especially refrigeration-needing food varies a lot. This means that we would have to prescribe a diet for our average person, which would not only be totally wrong for most of the people out there*, but would also get us into nutrition waters, which is also a definite closing reason. As for the meal planning part, I don't remember if we have a firm policy on this, but I think our tendency is to see it as off topic.

A third problem would be that the question is reminiscent of a rant, in the "please confirm that my position in this argument is reasonable" sense, but I don't see this as very acute. The tone is quite neutral, not a real rant, and some rewording could take care of the details. But I don't see a solution for the first two points. And the answers which have been posted until now seem to go in line with my suspicions.

So, my suggestion would be to close it. What does the community say about it? Do you see any way to salvage it? If there is a type of answer which avoids the pitfalls above, how do we discourage the "wrong" answers?

Note for users who are not yet well acquainted with meta: Up- and downvotes on the question should be used to indicate agreement/disagreement with the suggestion in the question, as opposed to generally saying that you find the idea of bringing this up for discussion useful.

[*] the statistician in me would say that measures of central tendency are only interesting in unimodal distributions with a pronounced peak, which we don't have here

  • I closed the question as opinion-based. Thank you everybody who participated in the discussion. – rumtscho Oct 1 '14 at 9:20
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First glance at the question, I see a new user asking a question in earnest. But to your point, it does fall into the poll category. There can be as many different answers as people willing to answer as each individual has different tastes, preferences, means, space, locations, etc.

While I hate to do it to a new user, I would have to vote to close it as any answer would be totally subjective to the respondent's personal opinion or preference.

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I think a good answer could save it. A well-researched answer would cite statistics from published studies and it would not rely on personal opinion aka "Well in my fridge..."

Unfortunately any study related to the amount of space a person needs is probably an unpublished survey done by a refrigerator company and not something you can easily find.

The likelihood of getting that answer here is probably low.

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