Frozen produce can provide essentially the same vitamins, minerals, and taste of fresh produce while costing less in dollars spent at the grocery store and food waste. Opting for frozen fruits or vegetables could help to increase overall consumption, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates only ten percent of Americans are eating their daily recommended amount of.
Research conducted at the University of California Davis compared the nutritional value of several commodities to evaluate a difference between fresh and frozen. The study tested the difference between freezing the samples or storing them in standard industry conditions. Strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, and spinach were all used in the research. The study found that “overall, the vitamin content of the frozen commodities was comparable to and occasionally higher than that of their fresh counterparts.”
Researchers from the University of Georgia conducted a similar two-year study confirming frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce. Their findings indicated that in some instances, frozen produce can be more nutritious than the same fresh commodity stored for five days.
Frozen foods can be stored for a significantly longer amount of time than fresh products can, which reduces the amount of food going to waste. National Public Radio reports that there are an estimated 133 billion pounds of food being wasted every year in the U.S. Cutting down on the amount of food being thrown out due to spoilage could potentially save typical families about $1,500 annually. Along with reduced rates of waste, frozen produce also provides a less expensive option for healthier eating habits.
Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show typically higher average prices for fresh produce as opposed to frozen options, with some commodities being significantly cheaper when frozen. The difference in price is particularly important when considering a Drexel University study which found the likelihood of making healthy dieting choices were reduced by 24 percent for every 14 percent increase in the cost of healthy foods versus unhealthy options.