I had to write another article for my Journalistic Writing course at university. This time it was an opinion article, and I tried to convince people that frozen vegetables are as good as fresh ones. I hope I made it fairly interesting for you to read it.
There is an ongoing debate about the nutritious value of frozen and fresh vegetables. Being a person who buys frozen vegetables from time to time, I want show that those are as good as fresh ones. Of course, I have to say that if local and seasonal fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market are available, I would always go for them. Nevertheless, I aim to show that frozen vegetables are not as unhealthy as often claimed, sometimes being even healthier than their fresh counterparts.
Firstly, recent studies have proven that fresh food is losing some of its nutritious value in the shipping process, and a study by Joy Rickman gave evidence that this loss is often larger than expected. The loss of nutritious elements such as Vitamin A and C is due to long and strenuous shipping routes because people start to neglect to buy seasonal and regional. In general it can be said that fresh vegetables need between 10 and 14 days to arrive at our plates. While being transported, heat and humidity deprave them of different nutritious ingredients. Frozen food has the advantage that it is directly processed after being harvested without long transportation ways. It may sit for a couple of hours, but the freezing process traps all the good ingredients in the vegetables. Additionally, it is harvested at the peak of its fresh- and ripeness whereas fresh vegetables are harvested early and ripen during transportation.
Secondly, transporting fresh vegetables is a huge economic process with negative influences on nature. Producers have to ensure that vegetables arrive fresh and unspoiled in supermarkets, consequently this food has to be shipped over large distances more often and in smaller quantities. Thus, it is no surprise that CO2 emission for those transports is much higher than for frozen vegetables. Those can be packed and frozen in huge quantities and less frequent shipment is needed. Consequently, eating frozen vegetables reduces the greenhouse effect on our planet.
Finally, fresh vegetables are prone to lose their colour when being prepared. Of course, some people will not see this as problem, but a lot of hobby chefs will agree with me. It is very frustrating to invest a lot of time into preparing a nice dish and it’s drained of colour, which is especially true for pea and broccoli dishes. Thus, if you want to impress your guests and you could get no seasonal vegetables, go for frozen ones.
All in all, I hope that I showed that frozen vegetables are not as unhealthy as often claimed. They retain their nutritious value far better than fresh vegetables, sometimes even exceeding those. Moreover, higher freezing capacities lead to lower shipping frequencies, thus to a reduced CO2 emission. Finally, frozen food vegetables retain their natural colour much better than fresh one, which makes each cook happy. Nevertheless, I would advise everybody to buy fruit and vegetables seasonally and regionally at a farmer’s market and go for frozen vegetables in exceptional cases only.