Today for all of us the credit crunch is biting hard and we are all looking for ways to save money. Energy and food it seems top the list of things we want to cut back on to reduce ever increasing bills, so why not use good healthy frozen food to help achieve this without compromising on nutrition and vitamin values.
Fresh food prices have rocketed in stores as producers costs are soaring along with haulage company’s fuel bills and are in turn passed on to us – the consumer.
I believe our motto ‘good food for good health’ should be a priority for everyone as a varied diet of nutritional food enables the body to keep and maintain good health and sense of well being, and even when trying to keep the weekly food shopping down, good frozen food can help to achieve this.
By eating good food helps keep the immune system in good shape to be able to fight the constant attack of viruses and illnesses we are all subjected to.
I have always said fresh food is best and contains the best nutritional values, but how fresh really is some of our ‘fresh food’, as foods are sourced from all over the world nowadays to keep availability all year round.
Frozen foods reputation has for a long time been held as inferior to fresh food, and classed along with canned food as second rate. This is today a largely undeserved labelling.
The technology and method of freezing has come along way since the seventies, when frozen food became popular and readily hit the shelves.
Today, many foods are frozen within minutes of harvesting. Fish is a good example of this as within minutes of being caught on many boats they are cleaned and frozen immediately on board, with all transportation carried out in the frozen state.
As long as you defrost as per instructions and eaten before ‘best by date’ the fish will be as good as if plucked straight from the net.
The same can be said for many frozen fruit and vegetables, being frozen with in one hour of harvesting.
When food is properly frozen, being cleaned and wrapped so that freezer burn is eliminated – freeze burn is when ice crystals come into contact with the food – the nutritional values are suspended and kept to a maximum.
Quick frozen food keeps its vitamins and nutrients virtually the same as the moment it was picked, when they are at the highest value.
By defrosting food properly and keeping cooking to a minimum by either steaming or stir frying, levels of vitamin C and other water soluble B vitamins can be higher than in fresh foods.
Some ‘fresh’ foods have been picked and stored months before they appear on the shelves labelled as fresh, but as to date there is no legal definition over use of the word ‘fresh’, so there is no way of telling how long it has been harvested.
Through lengthy storage of fruit and vegetables, time and heat sensitive vitamins along with water soluble ones can be lost and therefore could be less nutritional than similar frozen foods.
The monetary value in using frozen food is that there are no scraps of food left in the fridge deteriorating to an ‘alien mass’ unfit for human consumption.
Another great benefit is that the waste – the stringing of beans, cleaning of fish etc has all been done for us meaning we are only paying for the food we are actually eating saving precious time and money.
Frozen food also gives us the ability to try foods that we would not normally buy or prepare ourselves.
Always buy your frozen food from a reputable retailer and take great care to keep it in the same frozen state on your journey home. Also check the rating of your own freezer as this does alter the time scale on length of storage.
Always check the manufacturer’s details on use by date like any other food product and do not leave food hiding away in the corner of the freezer, rotate so nothing you have bought is wasted.
So remember ‘you are what you eat’ and that good food for good health can be achieved also by using frozen food.
Frozen fruit and vegetables have good vitamin and nutritional values and so can help to make sure you get your five a day every day.
Happy healthy eating
Sandra & Ted