Using food when it’s fresh is undoubtedly the healthy thing to do right? It might not be that simple, if new research from the UK is to be believed.
The research was kicked off by Sainsbury’s, who wanted to get to the bottom of the many supposed facts about freezing food. People assume it has a negative effect on taste and robs the food of vital nutrients and minerals.
But the truth isn’t as clear cut. In fact, new quick freezing methods at the source can mean that some kinds of food can not only taste better when they reach you but also can be better for your health.
It’s all a matter of how long it takes to get from the source to your plates. Any more than 3 days for veg, and up to five for other items, and the nutritional value is massively depleted. Freezing stops this process dead, meaning you have more time to get the best out of the food you buy.
There are other variables to consider as well – many of them to do with ice. The smaller the ice crystals, the less damage they do to food and that depsnds on the method of freezing but also the food in question.
For example red meat freezes really well – there’s very little water to change into ice crystals and the fat content means it will defrost with no real damage to taste or nutritional content, even after long periods. On the other hand, white meat has a high water content and can break down after a few months in icy captivity.
Fish fare better when frozen because they can take time to transport. Large cuts of fish last particularly well, slimmer specimens are less hardy. It’s best to use fresh veg yourself instead of freezing, but those that come frozen can last a long time.
If we all had the luxury of shopping for food everyday, it would be ideal to always cook from fresh. But that’s simply not realistic and this research shows that plenty of food items fare perfectly well from the freezer, and some even benefit from the process and can come out tasting fresher than ‘fresh’ alternatives!
In Short: It’s time to take a look at all the facts we think we know about fresh vs frozen food – can frozen food actually be healthy?