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Fresh or Frozen Food: Which is Best?

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 1 Dec 2010 |
Fresh Or Frozen Food: Which Is Best?

Both fresh and frozen food, especially fruit and vegetables, are now so easy to get hold of, but which is better – fresh or frozen?

The Advantages of Fresh Food

Fresh fruit and vegetables often taste better than frozen ones, and can have a better texture. Some fruit and vegetables cannot be frozen, such as salad vegetables like lettuce.

It’s easier to find out where fresh food is produced, and fresh food can be sourced locally, for example from farmer’s markets, or direct from the producer. It can be easier to buy organic fresh food than organic frozen food.

Fresh fruit and vegetables that are harvested locally and eaten as soon as possible after picking are as healthy and nutritious as frozen vegetables.

The packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables can be minimal, especially if bought from markets.

The Disadvantages of Fresh Food

Fresh food takes longer to prepare, and any food not cooked straight away has to be used within a few days. Preparing fresh fruit and vegetables creates a lot of peelings and trimmings (but these can be composted).

The nutrient levels in fresh food, especially fresh fruit and vegetables, decline after a few days of storage.

The Advantages of Frozen Food

In the UK, on average, people throw away about one third of the food that they buy. By using frozen fruit and vegetables and frozen, pre-prepared meat, people can use only the amount required and return the rest to the freezer, which could mean less waste than with fresh food. Frozen food also helps with planning meals in advance.

If food is frozen straight after harvest, it can retain more nutrients than stored fresh food. For example, fresh peas can lose 10-20% of their vitamin C within one day of harvesting.

Frozen food generally needs less preparation than fresh food, and produces fewer trimmings and other waste. The freezing process means that the food (especially fruit and vegetables) take less time to cook, potentially reducing energy use.

Frozen food is often cheaper than fresh food. Food can be frozen in season and then eaten out of season without having to rely on shipping from overseas. Stocking up the freezer can mean fewer trips to the shops, reducing car use, and buying frozen food in bulk can mean less packaging.

Frozen vegetables can be cheaper than fresh vegetables.

The Disadvantages of Frozen Food

Storing frozen food requires more energy than storing fresh food.

Frozen fruit and vegetables can’t usually be eaten raw, as the freezing process breaks down the cells – for example, a frozen strawberry or raspberry still tastes good, but loses its shape and texture.

Five a Day

Both frozen and fresh fruit and vegetables count as part of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

In Conclusion

Fresh and frozen food have a number of advantages and disadvantages. Fresh food often tastes better, but frozen food, especially fruit and vegetables, is more convenient and can be cheaper with a wider choice out of season. So, in the end, the choice is yours!

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I prefer fresh food because it provide more health which the frozen food loses, and gives original taste. However some foods like desserts and ice cream are more eaten when frozen.
Cusstom Folders - 30-Sep-11 @ 4:14 PM
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