Fresh or Frozen?
As we move into the winter months, some of our favourite fruits and vegetables start to go out of season, sure they can be shipped from exotic countries over weeks or even months, but these long journeys may mean that ‘fresh’ may not always be the best option!
Where and how you buy your ‘good stuff’ is just as important as eating it! So could the frozen option be one that we should consider?
A study from the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis compared the levels of 3 micronutrients (vitamin C, vitamin A and Folate) in 8 types of fresh and frozen fruit and veg from broccoli and spinach to strawberries.
The result - Frozen came out as the top dog in terms of nutrient value and this was because most people buy fresh fruit and veg and then store it in their fridge for 3-5 days before they use it. Over this time the nutrients within the fruit and veg starts to drop. Frozen fruit and veg on the other hand does not lose its nutrient value over the days therefore outperforming the fresh fruit and vegetables we buy!
Fresh fruit and veg start to lose their nutrient value from the minute it is picked, a little like a new car leaving a showroom. As soon as you drive that bad boy off the forecourt it starts to lose money - this is the same for fresh fruit and veg! The longer the journey from picking to packaging, then the shipping process, storage at the super markets and finally a few days in our fridge and the nutrient value has dropped considerably!
Frozen on the other hand is picked and usually frozen within minutes locking that nutrition into the fruit and veg until you use them in your cooking or smoothies!
I know what you are going to say, frozen doesn’t always taste as good. Agreed, if you are making a lovely summer salad you most probably want to use fresh spinach rather than a frozen block, it just won’t have the same texture and taste. However, think about the use of frozen fruit and veg for smoothies, soups, stews and cooking. Keep fresh for your awesome salads and juices!
One last thing - find your local farmers market and try to eat seasonal. By buying your fruit and veg locally you can guarantee that the nutrient value will be much higher due to the reduction in travel time! If you try to eat seasonally, you will be much less likely to purchase fruit and veg that has travelled for months from the other side of the world!
So, next time you head to do your food shop, don’t walk past the frozen isle, take a look! Fill that freezer!