Is frozen and tinned food about to have its day? by Naomi Stafford

Food and Drink
January 31, 2019

News broke last week that in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit, the government has been drawing up plans to stockpile processed foods, should they still have not worked out a way to maintain the free flow of goods between EU producers and the UK.

Some consumers have also chosen to do the same and stock their store cupboards and freezers with more tinned and frozen goods than ever before, helping to put the spotlight on the convenience and affordability of such goods. This does raise the question on whether we should we be eating more tinned and frozen food as well as fresh?

The demise of the weekly big shop

As a nation we have become accustomed to buying fresh produce frequently with supermarkets now offering longer opening hours, and express stores popping up across the country. This means that we have moved away from the once weekly big shop and are stocking up on fresh goods more frequently. More often than not, this fresh fruit and veg is left to rot at the back of the fridge taking a hit on our wallets.

Meal planning in advance

In the past, we wouldn’t have had any choice but to consume more tinned and frozen goods. We were not able to decide on what we felt like cooking on an evening and inevitably pop to the supermarket for missing ingredients, so meals had to be planned in advance. Buying tinned and frozen produce will cut down on the ordeal of the supermarket shop and also make us consider how much food we buy and waste.

Combating the myth

Some people may steer away from canned and frozen food because they believe they are lower in their nutritional content, but this isn’t the case. Canned and frozen food can become part of a balanced diet and is great for when you’re short on time as it offers convenience. There’s a big misunderstanding that canned and frozen food isn’t good for you, but this is not necessarily the case. In the canning process, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and fat-soluble vitamins are maintained. While water-soluble vitamins are heat sensitive and lost during the canning process, in corn and tomatoes the heating step actually brings out more antioxidants – which is good news for us! What’s more, canned and frozen food can sometimes be more nutritious than fresh as it is harvested and canned or frozen at peak freshness.

Cost-effective and convenient

Canned and frozen goods are more readily available than fresh produce and are often a lot more affordable. These days you can find tinned and frozen food at the petrol station when you go to fill up your car, so there is no need necessarily to go to your local supermarket. Perfect for convenience when you’re short on time!

Cutting down on food waste

Buying canned and frozen food can actually help decrease food waste as they have a longer shelf and freezer life than fresh. Just think of the pennies you could save and the positive impact you’d have on the environment. This is a topic we feel passionate about here at Lucre having held a Roundtable event on the matter last year where we celebrated the Innovative Waste Warriors who are making a difference in the war on waste. There are various people, businesses and charities who are using food waste to innovate, connect and empower and we were proud to give them a voice in the hope of inspiring other businesses to do the same.

It is certainly an interesting debate and while we’re not saying that we should all avoid the fresh food aisle in the supermarkets, perhaps we should take a moment to reconsider how we shop.