For years the word on the supermarket shelves has been that fresh is always best. But could that advice soon be given the cold shoulder?
Buying frozen is set to be the big trend for 2018 – and it goes hand-in-hand with minimising food waste too.
Worryingly, the UK throws away £13bn of food each year.
There’s one easy way to combat this huge cost to the planet and our bank accounts: buy frozen.
With over 800 stores across the UK, frozen supermarket chain Iceland is promoting the benefits of frozen food.
Stocking up on key proteins such as fish, chicken, beef and seafood in the freezer aisle has never been easier.
In fact, Iceland are even selling super-trendy grain Quinoa in microwave bags – ready to be cooked from frozen, reducing the waste efficiently.
Research by Sheffield Hallam University back in 2012 reported a basket of frozen family groceries cost £15.45. In contrast to this, buying the same items from fresh cost £23.25. That’s a difference of £7.80.
Add to this the fact that figures reported by Defra (the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) showed 17% of fresh food purchased was thrown in the bin – it’s a shock wake-up call.
Taking up the challenge of eating ‘from frozen’ for a week, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I took delivery of a shop from Iceland and instantly realised by kitchen isn’t made for a frozen-food lifestyle.
Frozen meat, vegetables, fruit, sushi – you name it, it’s available.
The first eye-opener was that frozen really does take the hassle out of meal prep with pre-washed, pre-chopped ingredients at my fingertips. Buying ingredients such as onions, peppers and spinach from frozen can almost halve your prep time.
But is frozen food as good as buying fresh in terms of nutrients?
Frozen food is sourced and frozen at the peak of freshness. Choosing to buy frozen ensures the quality, nutrients and freshness of the foods are locked in.
Fresh produce typically contains higher levels of nutrients at harvest than frozen or canned varieties.
But these nutrients start to deplete as soon as the food is picked, packed, and assembled. The longer the process, the fewer nutrients make it to the plate.
Interestingly, Iceland’s chief executive pledged to remove plastic packaging from its own-label ranges by 2023, earlier this year.
The supermarket further showing its dedication to the planet.
TOP TIP from Iceland
So you don’t have to worry about safe thawing, buy products which can be cooked from frozen.
There’s no need to plan ahead and defrost various ingredients when you can buy protein and vegetables ready to go and have a freezer full of ingredients to make your very own ready meals from scratch.