Is fresh always best?

By Judy Buttriss

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
The words fresh and vegetables often seem joined at the hip, but is fresh always best?

Nutritionally, it’s long been known that commercially frozen vegetables are a richer source of labile nutrients, such as vitamin C, than so called ‘fresh’ ones picked days before.

But a new analysis from Dr Wayne Martindale of Sheffield Hallam University reveals that the use of frozen foods can reduce waste and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

7.2Mt of food waste

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, households generate 7.2Mt of food waste a year, with 15% of edible food and drink purchases being wasted at an average yearly cost of £480 per household.

A major contributor is spoiled fresh fruit and veg. According to WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) food waste can be reduced by 20–30%.

Not the only option

Martindale calculates that a typical household wastes 10.4% of fresh food, but only 5.9% of frozen. So fresh is not the only option.

By buying frozen veg in bulk, with its longer storage life, not only are we maximising nutritional value, but also reducing wastage in the home.

It can also be an economical way of eating all kinds of out of season fruits and vegetables.

Related topics: Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition

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