Friday, June 14, 2024

The Freezer Aisle Secret: Why Frozen Vegetables Might Be Your New Go-To

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We often buy vegetables from local vendors, but how much do we know about their origin and safety? Fresh produce has long been seen as the pinnacle of healthy eating, but there’s a surprising contender: frozen vegetables. While fresh options seem like the obvious choice, frozen veggies offer some unexpected advantages. From nutritional value to convenience and cost-effectiveness, frozen veggies have a lot to offer that might just change the mindset of the consumers about what belong in their shopping cart.

Let’s explore why frozen vegetables might just deserve a leading role in the meals.

Price: Fresh vegetables can be more expensive, especially when they are out of season or need to be imported. On the other hand, frozen vegetables are generally more cost-effective and can be purchased in bulk without the risk of spoilage. Additionally, frozen foods are unaffected by inflation, offering a stable and affordable option for consumers.

Shelf Life: Fresh vegetables have a limited shelf life and can spoil quickly if not consumed promptly. Frozen vegetables, however, can last for months in the freezer, allowing for greater flexibility in meal planning.

Protects Against Uncertain Price Surges: In the face of relentless price inflation impacting everyday groceries like tomatoes, green peas, garlic, and ginger, a pragmatic solution emerges i.e. frozen and ready-to-cook or use options. For instance, in July 2023, tomato prices which is usually priced at INR 27-30 per kg, were sold for as high as INR 150 to INR 200 per kg. Whereas a 200gm pack of ready-to-use tomato puree equivalent to approx 10 ripe tomatoes, offered budget relief without sacrificing flavor and quality. Once the pack is open, the tomato puree can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for use over the next 12-15 days. 

Nutrition Value: There is a common misconception that frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones. However, frozen vegetables are often flash-frozen shortly after harvest, preserving their nutritional content. In some cases, frozen vegetables may even retain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts. For example, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that certain frozen vegetables, such as green beans and peas, can have higher levels of vitamins and nutrients compared to fresh ones, which can lose nutrients during transportation and storage. 

Convenience: Frozen vegetables are incredibly convenient, requiring no washing, peeling, or chopping. They can be easily added to soups, stir-fries, and other dishes, making meal preparation faster and more convenient.

Availability All Year Round: Frozen vegetables are available year-round, regardless of the season. This means that you can enjoy a variety of vegetables even when they are out of season, allowing for more diverse and nutritious meals throughout the year.

In conclusion, while fresh vegetables hold a special place in the hearts of consumers and on their plates, it’s time to give frozen vegetables the recognition they deserve. Not only are they more cost-effective and have a longer shelf life, but they also retain their nutritional value and offer unmatched convenience. By incorporating frozen vegetables into the meal planning, consumers can reduce food wastage, enjoy a variety of vegetables year-round, and simplify their cooking process. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, consider adding some frozen veggies to your cart. Your taste buds and your wallet will thank you!

The writer is the Assistant Vice President of Yummiez at Godrej Tyson Foods, a joint venture between Godrej and Tyson Foods, USA. The company specializes in providing delicious and cost-effective protein products under renowned brands such as Real Good Chicken and Yummiez. 

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