FRESH OR frozen? That is the question. And it’s one that’s caused no end of debate and argument over the years since Mr Birdseye chose to freeze his first pea.
Those who advocate fresh is best, believe that nutrients suffer from being frozen, but there’s no denying that frozen food is an easy fix for a quick and easy midweek supper.
They’re already washed, prepped and are ready for a quick zap in the microwave or saute in the pan.
A study, about to be published in June of this year, found the common belief that fresh has much more nutritional value than frozen is wrong.
Researchers looked at nutrients in certain fresh and frozen produce as well as a third category they dubbed ‘fresh-stored’, which equates to the five days that consumers typically store produce after buying and bringing it home.
In the study, they looked at vitamin C, vitamin A and folic levels in broccoli, cauliflower, sweetcorn, peas, spinach, blueberries, strawberries and green beans and in most of the comparisons, they found no major differences in how much a vitamin was preserved.
However, they did find that in some instances, frozen actually had more nutrients than fresh-stored, debunking the old myth that fresh is better than frozen.
The reason frozen produce retains it’s nutrients is through a technique called fresh freezing, which freezes food quickly so it doesn’t go through the process of waiting around on lorries before being transported to the supermarket or grocery store and then taken home.
Frozen vegetables are usually nutritionally equivalent to fresh vegetables because they’re generally flash-frozen onsite, immediately after harvest.
So, where does that leave the fresh or frozen debate? Well, no further forward is the simple answer.
The truth is, all fruits and vegetables are simply good for you and have proven to reduce your risk of diseases, such as coronory disease and cancer.
So, it appears that the best advice is to include a good mix of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables in your diet.
In addition, try and aim for the new health department guidelines which suggest at least ten portions should be consumed daily.