It goes without saying that fresh ingredients are better than frozen alternatives. The taste and aesthetics are far more inviting, as well as holding more of the healthy nutrients that our bodies crave.
Unfortunately, as working parents know all too well, it simply isn’t practical or cost-effective to make use of fresh ingredients every day. Fruit and vegetables stay fresh for only a short while, meaning that you can easily find yourself heading backwards and forwards to the supermarket multiple times in the week.
Why Fresh Food is Better
We all know that fresh food is better, but what exactly makes it better? Why is it that fresh minced meat is in a different league to frozen bagged minced meat and why fresh steak always beats frozen packaged steak?
It has a lot to do with the butchered date and the freezing process. Most frozen meat does not have a butchered date on the packaging, whereas this is commonplace on fresh meat. This means that there is no telling how long frozen meat has been in the package, and there isn’t any way in which you can be sure that frozen meat hasn’t accidentally thawed out and been re-frozen (which can be dangerous to consume).
Many of us buy fresh meat to freeze it anyway, and there isn’t any problem with this as you are in total control of the freezing process. You know precisely how long the meat has been frozen for, as well as its butchered date, and can rest assured that your food has not been re-frozen.
The Price Difference
While convenience plays a big role in why so many of us continue to buy frozen food, the price tag arguably plays an even greater role. We always look to save money where possible, but is saving an odd couple of pounds really worth skimping on the quality of food we serve up to our family?
In 2012, research conducted by Sheffield Hallam University found that the average family could save as much as £400 a year by buying frozen over fresh. That is, of course, a considerable amount of money in a working-class household and it is easy to see why frozen foods are the go-to choice.
With the rise of discount supermarket chains such as Aldi and Lidl, more fresh food is being made available to lower-income households, which can only be a good thing. It is certainly worth shopping around to seek out the best deals when it comes to stocking up your kitchen.
In poverty-stricken areas where families, even those with young children, live off scraps all year round, it matters not whether food is fresh or frozen. All that matters is that any food is somewhat edible and will help them get by day by day.
It is for this reason why, in Islam, meat from a sacrificed animal at Qurbani, which takes place following the Eid-ul-Adha prayers, is donated to the poor. This is often the only time of the year many families are able to enjoy fresh food and it is because of the charitable culture that followers of Islam adhere to.
Will You Try Harder to Serve Fresh Food?
If you are one of the thousands of working parents that rely on pulling food out of the freezer as opposed to keeping fresh food in the fridge, will you make more of a conscious effort to buy fresh? If so, we recommend structuring your week to allow more time to make full use of your ingredients and keeping waste to a minimum.
Fresh food, you just cannot beat it.