Chill out, it’s okay to eat frozen food

Frozen food often cops a bad rap, but is it deserved?

As a rule, fresh is best but there is also a case for using frozen fruit and veg.

According to the US group the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, many foods benefit from being frozen.

Frozen foods are often picked at peak ripeness and frozen. And for best results frozen within hours.

And don’t compare your little box freezer on top of your fridge with industrial freezing. Food companies generally use flash-freezing techniques.

Compare this with many fresh fruit and veg, especially in the supermarket fresh food chain. They are often picked well before they are ripe with the intention they will ripen during the journey, so they may never develop their flavour profile.

Frozen food may also increase the variety in your diet. If out-of-season fruit is unaffordable or unavailable, often frozen can fill the gap.

So hooray for frozen, you can hold your head up high, but what fresh food is best frozen and why?

Berry good for you

Frozen berries are versatile and, in some instances, superior to fresh fruit.

If you do a lot of baking you will know if you use fresh berries, often they end in a pulpy mush. They hold their shape much better if they are added frozen.

Also great to add the smooth to a smoothie.

Peas please

The vast majority of peas are bought frozen for a good reason, they are more convenient.

Look, I love fresh peas, but they are a hassle and you very rarely see them these days.

When I was growing up, shelling peas with your nanna over a colander was a thing, but my kids would look at me sideways if I suggested that now.

Frozen peas are picked and frozen so quickly that they may even have more nutrients than the fresh stuff that has been in the supply chain for up to a week.

Something fishy

Unless you live very near a good fish shop or market, often frozen fish is best.

Once again, the supply chain is to blame.

Fresh fish is great if you can buy from a supplier who restocks every day, but otherwise you have everyone’s permission to eat frozen fish and not feel bad about it.

Freezing also kills a lot of parasites and bacteria that can be a problem with fresh fish.

Frozen fish has come a long way from a few decades ago when the only choice was fish fingers. And, thank goodness for that.

Even at the supermarket the range varies from whole fillets to ready-to-cook meals.

But check the nutrition information. A lot of those preprepared products are very high in fat and salt.

And you can still buy fish fingers.


Fresh corn is great, I love fresh corn. However, it steadily deteriorates the moment it is harvested as starches continue to develop, giving it that ‘chalky’ taste you sometimes find in older corn.

Freezing halts this process when the ears are at their prime.


Unless you are very confident in your fish supplier or live near a prawn fishing area, you are almost certainly buying defrosted prawns.

Did you notice? Thought not.

Prawns degrade very quickly out of water and are frozen using a technique called individually quick frozen, which basically means they are run through a blast chiller quick smart.

This process is done on the boat and preserves the flavour, texture and freshness.

Do you regularly eat frozen food? What’s your favourite? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: How long can you keep fresh food?

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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