The Jakarta Post
Frozen fruit and vegetables have had a bad reputation among grocers in recent years, but they may be wrong when they say these frozen foods are unhealthy. (Shutterstock/File)
People may be a little cautious when they buy frozen food. There are many articles online about their negative effects and dangers, but many have also debunked these myths.
To separate fact from fiction, here are 10 facts about frozen food as compiled by Reader’s Digest:
Frozen food is (actually) healthy
Frozen fruit and vegetables have had a bad reputation among grocers in recent years, but they may be wrong when they say these frozen foods are unhealthy.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones because they are picked and frozen when optimally ripe.
Frozen food doesn’t expire
Freezing a piece of meat for a long time then defrosting it may seem gross to a lot of people, but according to registered dietitian and nutritionist Caroline Passerrello, MS, RDN, LDN, the spokeswoman for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, food that is frozen can stay unspoiled indefinitely. However, for the best quality and taste one should consume the food as soon as possible.
Refreezing food is safe
One should always thaw the food by placing it in the refrigerator where it is less cold. By doing this, the food is thawed but remains cold to prevent aggregation, so the food can still be frozen and not have any growing colonies of bacteria.
Just know that thawing it a second time may leave the food with less taste than before.
It’s all natural
Producers have listened to consumers’ preference for the organic and natural, and they have delivered. Nowadays, producers are trying to lessen the amount of salt and sugar in their products.
In fact, salt or sugar may occur naturally in the food even if they are not specified as ingredients.
Milk and eggs can freeze
Freezing milk and eggs are do-able, but their quality and taste may become altered.
Frozen milk can be used as an alternative to ice-packs and frozen eggs can be easily cracked so that the whites can be used later on.
Read also: Diet rules made to be broken
It’s not so safe to thaw food in the counter
Many people may leave their food on the counter to thaw, but it may prove to be unsafe because room temperature promotes the growth of bacterial colonies thus the aggregation of food.
Thawing in hot water is a hazard
Using hot water to thaw meat can lead to temperature differences in some parts causing it to cook unevenly.
To avoid this from happening, the meat should be thawed using cold water that is changed every 30 minutes.
Food packaging may not be safe
Food wrappers may let in bacteria which degrades the flavor. To avoid this from happening, try to rewrap the food and, if possible, push out all the air.
For fruit and vegetables, it may be best to boil them and then place them in cold water; a process known as blanching.
Read also: Facts and myths about organic food
Frozen meals are not balanced
Frozen food is great for eating, but those that are mass produced may not entirely be a balanced meal. So it is best to have a piece of fruit or yogurt on the side for more variety.
It is okay for food to be kept even after its expiry date
This may bother people, but they can still eat food after its expiration date. Sell by dates are used by stores to rotate inventory, but “use by” dates show buyers the optimum time for use.
So, putting food in the freezer on those printed dates won’t be a problem. (ezr/kes)