In today’s world, only a very small percentage of people grow their own food. Indeed, in some parts of the world, less than 5% of all people are involved in agriculture. And even for those who are involved in agriculture, it is highly unlikely that they would be in a position to grow all the foods they need. In most cases then, people end up consuming foods produced very far away from where they are. And to ensure that the food doesn’t end up being spoilt on the way, between where it is produced and where it is consumed, it becomes necessary to preserve it, through among other methods, freezing – so that we end up with frozen food.
Here, then, are five interesting facts about frozen foods that you may want to know.
1. That frozen food is not a new concept. Many of us imagine that freezing of food became a possibility with the invention of the refrigerator. Nothing could be further from the truth, because for thousands of years before the invention of the machine we know as the refrigerator, people had been consuming food that was frozen. It was one of the ways through which people in the parts of the world beset with long winters could store the food they needed to take them through the season. Of course, refrigeration (as we know it today) is a fairly young concept; originating from the 1930s – making it less than a century old.
2. That frozen food is typically poorer in some nutrients than unfrozen food. It has been observed that a considerable portion of certain nutrients, especially vitamin C and carotene get damaged during the freezing process, so that frozen food is poorer in these nutrients than food that is not frozen. Vitamin B1 and B2 are other nutrients that may also get lost during the freezing process.
3. You may want to know that frozen food is healthier than food that is preserved through the use many other methods (for instance preservatives), the loss of some nutrients that takes place during freezing notwithstanding. The idea behind using preservatives is to keep food from being invaded by micro-organisms. But freezing achieves the same objective, so that frozen food doesn’t have to be laden with preservatives. In the final analysis, the likely harm from use of some preservatives is much worse than the loss of nutritional value that freezing causes; for this loss of nutritional value is something that can be made up for.
4. That frozen food, contrary to what many of us imagine, doesn’t have to be tasteless. Sure, freezing food can cause some loss of delicacy. But if you make use of a stabilizer when putting the food into the freezer, you can conserve the taste of that food, so that it tastes ‘natural’ when it is finally taken out of the freezer for consumption.