Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fresh, frozen, or canned?

Most people think the answer to this is obvious: fresh fruit and vegetables are better than frozen or canned. However, this is not always true. If you know that the fruit and vegetables were grown within one days journey, fresh is the best choice. You will get the best flavor this way and you can pretty much guarantee that the fruit or vegetable was picked at its peak. However, if the fruit you are buying was picked and packed in another state or country, and then it was shipped, it could be up to 2 weeks old by the time you buy it (it was most likely picked well before its peak and will not have the full flavor that you are expecting). In this case, it is better to get frozen fruit or vegetables. Many people believe that the freezing process takes away some of the nutritional value of the fruit or vegetable. This simply is not true. Upon being picked at its peak, the fruit or vegetable is then frozen within a day or two. The actual freezing only takes moments, locking in the natural juices so that you have the best product possible. Lately, canned fruits and vegetables have gotten a lot of publicity because of the high levels of BPA found to transfer between the can and the food. Another reason to be careful with canned fruits and vegetables are the liquids they are canned in (often containing high levels of sugar for fruits and high levels of sodium for vegetables). Though many of my recipes list canned vegetables, frozen is always the better option and I am consciously trying to make the switch for good.

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