“You Gonna Eat That?”

March is
National Frozen Food Month
Here is some interesting information about the benefits of  frozen food.
The subject of “fresh” vs. “frozen” has caused a few arguments but the facts remain solid, freezing is the best known means of food preservation. Some of the advantages of frozen food include: Less waste, convenience and cost. Freezing preserves the nutritional value, freshness, flavor and color of foods. Unless you are pulling it from your garden or purchasing it at a local farmers market, it’s hard to find better nutritional value. You might say that frozen is fresher than “fresh.” Research shows that frozen products often contain more nutrients than fresh foods. That’s because produce destined for your grocery store is harvested at the height of ripeness and nutrient value. It is rushed to nearby freezing plants for immediate processing which preserves the nutrient content. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often gathered in an immature or “unripened” state and allowed to ripen “off the vine” this can rob the produce of it’s nutrient value. Further, because “fresh” products are frequently transported long distances and stored in warehouses before they are placed on your grocery or supermarket shelves, they have often lost nutrients and vitamins. Nutrient depletion even continues while produce is stored in your refrigerator. Unless vegetables and fruits are truly “garden fresh,” frozen is a better buy nutritionally.

Scientists at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation analyzed 51 different frozen foods regularly found in grocery stores and supermarkets. Their research proved that foods retain their nutritional value during freezing. Substantial and highly beneficial amounts of no less than 21 essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients were found in these products. Freezing, per se, does not injure vitamins. Air exposure is much more destructive, particularly to volatile nutrients such as vitamin C and thiamine.

If you’re like me sometimes you put stuff in your freezer and forget to cook it. Is it still safe to eat?

How long will frozen food keep?

  • Frozen dinners — three to four months
  • Ground beef and turkey — three months
  • Bacon, unopened — one month
  • Roasts — six to twelve months
  • Whole fish — five to six months
  • Fish fillets — four to five months
  • Shellfish — four to six months
  • Whole chicken or turkey — twelve months
  • Chicken or turkey pieces — nine months
  • Cooked poultry — four months
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