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Frost-burned broccoli florets are convenient and usually cheap, but they’re also ugly and less healthy than a fresh, untainted bunch from the supermarket’s nicely displayed produce section… right?
Not exactly. Research shows frozen items often have higher levels of nutrients than fresh produce because the whole farm-to-grocery store trek is a huge detriment to the fresh stuff Effect of home freezing and Italian style of cooking on antioxidant activity of edible vegetables. Danesi, F., Bordoni, A. Research Center on Nutrition and Vitamins, Dept. of Biochemistry G. Moruzzi, Univ. of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Journal of Food Science, 2008 Aug;73(6):H109-12. Polyphenols and antioxidant capacity of vegetables under fresh and frozen conditions. Ninfali, P., Bacchiocca, M. Istituo di Chimica Biologica, G Fornaini Universita di Urbino, Urbino, Italy. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 2003 Apr 9;51(8):2222-6. . From the time a carrot is plucked from the ground to the very moment it reaches your dinner table, it may have lost roughly half of its original nutrient content.
The video does point out, however, that fresh produce may be a better choice when it comes straight from a backyard garden or a farmers’ market. Super-fresh veggies have time to ripen fully, plus they don’t sit around for days and days after picking, losing important vnutrients.
(For more deets on when to buy fresh or frozen, check out: Frozen Vs. Fresh? Which Vegetables Are Best?)
Photo by Caitlin Covington
Will you reconsider the frozen aisle for stocking up on produce? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.