Frozen food has come a long way since it landed on our plates in 1954. From frozen meat and fish to frozen vegetables and desserts, the benefits of using frozen are huge. So, why buy frozen food?
Freezing can help to retain quality, seal in freshness and lock in all that goodness. Foods such as fish and vegetables have been proven to retain nutrients when frozen.
Have you ever have had a craving for some sumptuous strawberries, only to find they aren’t in season? Freezing is a natural preservative and can be a great way to eat seasonal food all year round. Whether it’s fish, fruit or veg, freezing can ensure that your family is eating nutritious food all the time.
Are you sick of spending too much money on food? Well, frozen food can help with that too. Buying frozen food can help to reduce your food bill, with frozen fish and seafood 25% less expensive than fresh, and frozen broccoli over 50% cheaper than fresh florets for example.
Using frozen can also help to reduce your food waste too. Pre-prepared frozen food can ensure that there is greater portion control, helping to cut the amount of food being thrown away unnecessarily. Frozen pre-prepared food can also help save on preparation time as it can be cooked straight from the packet in dishes such as vegetable stir fry.
Carbon footprint reduction
By buying frozen food with its longer shelf life you can make fewer trips to the shops by car. Doing so reduces your individual carbon footprint. And due to its longer shelf life, frozen food can result in less wastage in the delivery and storage chain.
UK consumers throw away about 1/3 of the food they buy, so there is great scope for improvement. With frozen food, you only take out what you need and save the rest for another day. WRAP states that if people stopped wasting food which could have been eaten, it would have the same impact on carbon emissions as taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads1. Freezing a crop, such as peas, can ensure the entire crop is available for sale. Sometimes excess fresh cops need to be ploughed back into the field or left to rot simply because of its short life.
Your freezer uses less energy if it is stocked up. Also by placing the freezer as far away from the cooker / fridge as possible will help to make it run more optimally, as keeping it close increases energy usage. It is even better to have a separate chest freezer in the garage or a separate room. Running a freezer can cost as little as £18 per year!
Food waste and the environment – the facts
WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Plan) is a government agency dedicated to understanding the population’s patterns for disposing of waste and evaluating the benefits of recycling. They’ve recently published some startling and persuasive facts:
- In the UK, we throw away around one third of the food we buy. Of that 61% or 4.1 million tonnes are avoidable.
- The most common reason for food waste is that it’s left unused – 61% of the avoidable waste or 2.5 million tonnes. We also cook and prepare too much, resulting in an additional 1.6 million tonnes of food waste a year.
- 40% of this (almost one million tonnes) isn’t touched and a tenth (340,000 tonnes) is in date. We bin 6.7 million tonnes every year – one third of the food we buy. We throw away 1,405,000 tonnes of fruit, vegetables and salad. Most of that food (61%) could have been eaten if we had planned, stored and managed it.
- UK households on average pay £420 for food each year that is thrown away.
- Every tonne of food waste is responsible for 4.5 tonnes of CO2.
1 The food we waste, A study of the amount, types and nature of the food we throw away in UK households, Waste Resources and Action Programme (WRAP), 8 May 2008.