Give a shit about food waste? Eat frozen food (true story!)

I love to debunk a holy-than-thou food myth. How’s this one for you: very often eating the frozen version of a food is better for you, for the environment and can taste better than the fresh version. How could this be?

I looked into this notion some time back. It’s why when I devised the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program I worked it to include a lot of par-cooking and freezing various foods (in bulk), as well as doing “Sunday cook-ups”.

By the way:

Here’s a list of things you can freeze, and how to do it.

Here’s how to parcook and freeze veggies.

So, to the research I dug up on the pros of freezing:

Frozen food = less waste at the farm

This is because the logistics of frozen food distribution can be closely managed. Farmers can notify processing plants of when they have a harvest ready to go, and the food is transported direct and preserved immediately in one hit. No product hanging around to rot. No excess supply. Plus, large-scale food processors tend to have schemes where their disposable waste is used as compost or given to farmers as local feed.

Frozen food don’t rot

Which means it can then be shipped around the country, be stored in supermarkets, and at home, for months. Less degradation, less waste, more goodness.

Frozen is often more nutiritous anyway

Freezing stalls enzyme break-down, particularly in starchy veggies like peas and corn. Plus, water soluble vitamins like C and some of the B vitamins are lost in fresh produce the longer it hangs around. Green peas lose as much as 51 per cent of their vitamin C content within 48 hours of picking. I explain this a bit in my book I Quit Sugar for Life.

Frozen contain less pesticides

The washing and blanching to prepare vegetables for freezing removes or destroys approximately 80-90% of pesticide residues, according to the US-based National Food Processors Association. So if you can’t afford organic, frozen is often the next best option. Particularly with berries. I cover this off in Simplicious.

Eat frozen, eat ugly. 

The processing often involves chopping and blanching, so it doesn’t matter if some of the produce isn’t picture-perfect. Thus, “ugly”, as well as beautiful, veggies and fruit are used and not tossed.

“Fresh fish” is frozen anyway…and turn out less fresh.

Commercially bought fish is mostly best when frozen. It’s snap-frozen at sea, keeping it fresher. And, yet, because consumers prefer the idea of fish being so-called “fresh”, mongers will defrost it to sell it, well, fresh. Which means it become highly perishable and likely to be tossed faster (by the monger or you). Reckon the texture of frozen is bad? Get real. To make my point, I refer to the fact all fish served raw (that is, including. sushi-quality fish) in the United States is required by the FDA to be frozen first to kill parasites. Sushi is rarely a bad texture in the US. Am I right?

Changed your thinking at all about freezing? Apropos all this, do you actually change your shopping and dining habits as you learn more stuff like this?

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