The fast and busy lifestyle which have become normal for many families have made most try to reduce the time for preparation of meals and instead employ the faster route of quickly fixing meals.
Frozen foods lend a helping hand to this process, ensuring that meals are easily available on the go. Popular foods such as frozen chicken or eggs are usually stored in the freezer for easier availability for most families, also freezing left over meals are a norm in most homes as wasting food isn’t encouraged by most Nigerians.
Due to the huge popularity of frozen foods, a lot of opinions have been opined on their effect and usage, and in all these, some misconceptions have arisen. This article will help to point out what the lines are.
Myth1: Frozen Food are not nutritious
Reality: A lot of “fresh” produce are picked before they ripe then transported over long distances, and a lot of nutrients are seriously depleted before they find their way from the market to our kitchens. Frozen foods could be more nutritious than some fresh food items! Frozen food picked when ripened and then flash frozen will only lose a minute percent of their nutritional value.
Also whether frozen or fresh, the method of preparing meals go a long way in affecting their nutritional content. For instance boiling vegetables instead of steaming ensures that a lot of its nutrients are lost during the boiling process.
Myth 2: Any Food can be frozen
Reality: Even if a lot of food items can be effectively frozen and at same time conserve their flavor and lock in nutrients, we tend to believe all food can be frozen. The truth is not all food items do so well in the freezer. For example fruits having high water content such as watermelon and vegetables such as lettuce have no need being frozen for long as they will thaw out and get really soggy when defrosted. Foods should also not be stored in cans or eggs in eggshell.
Myth3: Frozen food lasts forever
Reality: A lot of frozen food can stay fresh or months but just like everything else they have an expiry date. Raw meat last well between 4 – 12 months. Vacuum sealing and pressing a lot of air out of the plastic bag helps too. And of course, Raw meat lasts longer than cooked. Blanching vegetables and sealing in moisture-proof packages are important too.
Myth 4: Freezing kills Bacteria.
Reality: The only way Bacteria can be killed is by heating. Freezing food renders them inactive. The advantage to this is that they eliminate the need for preservatives in food, which have side effects in the long term. That’s why it’s important to check Microorganisms cannot grow on foods stored at below 0F. So it’s necessary to heat your frozen food, most times before eating.
Myth 6: You Can Store Frozen Food Anywhere In Your Freezer
It’s relatively easy to open the freezer and just drop the items you intend to freeze but this isn’t ideal. A quick reminder is that every time you open the door of the freezer, it causes a fluctuation in temperature at the places or cabinets close to the door. Especially for long term storage, it’s important and strategic to place the food items at the best place for them. Frozen foods is best stored towards the back end of the freezer where a constant 0 degrees F is more likely to be standard and then used goods could be stored near the front or on the door sooner. And if the power goes out? Don’t open the freezer door regularly!