Frozen food has a bit of a bad rep and is often associated with low-quality, highly processed diets. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Despite being used as a means of safely preserving food for hundreds of years, but eating frozen food is often seen as a last resort and not as healthy as eating fresh ingredients every day. According to the Frozen Report 2015, one in three Britons believe frozen food is inferior to fresh food, with 43 per cent say that nothing could persuade them to buy more frozen fare. But as it turns out, just like wonky veg, it may be all in our heads.
For the sake of our health, our pockets and the environment, it may be time to stop turning our noses up at frozen produce.
Here are 5 myth-busting reasons to give frozen food a try:
We live in an era obsessed with convenience, and nothing says 'convenient' like frozen food. Out of season? No need to import – just freeze and enjoy some summer berries in autumn. These days frozen offerings are not restricted to fish fingers and pizzas either, with more and more innovative products being introduced every year. From Ready to Roast Gammon Joints with Honey Glaze and Pulled Atlantic Salmon with Peppers in a Sweet BBQ Sauce to Sweet Potato Fries and Whole Leaf Spinach, you don’t need to keep popping to the shop or spend hours doing prep for complex culinary delights.
Contrary to popular belief, some studies have shown that freezing may 'lock in' the beneficial nutrients of fruits and vegetables, potentially keeping them fresher for longer. For example, in one frozen food experiment by the University of Chester, fresh produce was stored in a general household fridge at 4°C for up to three days. They were then compared with frozen produce stored in a domestic freezer at -20°C for the same amount of time. The concentrations of antioxidants and other key nutritional components decreased in the refrigerated produce and ended up lower than that found in the frozen goods. This suggests that for longer-lasting nutritional benefits, frozen might be the best choice.
According to studies commissioned by the British Frozen Food Federation, frozen food compares favourably to fresh in blind taste tests with little difference spotted between the two in terms of taste and texture. So you don't have to scrimp on flavour for convenience.
Frozen foods are often less expensive at point of sale than fresh produce. Rather than this being attributed to lower quality produce, it is actually down to savings passed on to the consumer due to lower production costs.
Stopping food waste
Did you know that Britain has the highest level of food wastage in the European Union, with each household throwing away 13lb (6kg) of food each week? This whopping wastage costs each household roughly £470 a year. Buying frozen produce that has a much longer shelf life can really help to curtail this problem and would likely lead to a reduction in food waste, saving us even more money. Win win.
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