Fresh food is better than frozen food when it comes to a number of key factors involving food quality. Have you seen the new ad from the American Frozen Food Institute? By our count, we’ve seen it at least six times this week! It’s very slickly crafted, with lush imagery and smooth voiceover work, telling us “Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh”. Take a look for yourself:
Our first problem with this ad is who made it. The AFFI is an industry group that represents companies like Nestle and ConAgra. These are the biggest names in the processed food business, and they are hurting. For decades frozen foods were a cash cow driven by a society who wanted food quick, easy, and would last until they got around to it. In the last five years, this industry has seen a loss of just under $9 billion, and forecasters expect it to lose another $6 billion. Why is this so? It seems pretty clear that the decline of frozen is in no small part related to the growth of the organic and natural products market, which has a frozen segment but emphasizes fresh, whole foods.The AFFI is fighting back with a plan to spend almost $100 million to “ enter into a dialogue with consumers.” Something tells me that that their end of the conversation will consist of doing everything they can to disqualify the idea that fresh food is better than frozen.
That being said, let’s look at the ad a little bit. First, we are presented with images of fresh fruits and veggies, as we are told, “Studies prove that fruits and vegetables are kept at their peak by freezing…” Truth is, fresh beats frozen on almost every count, with the exception of sheer longevity. True, you can pull out frozen food a year after you bought it, but everyone knows that in terms of produce, fresh food is better than frozen when it comes to flavor and texture. At home, our own Baby Breeze is the finickiest eater ever, but at least she’ll eat her vegetables. Whenever we’re running out of the fresh stuff, we do give her the organic mixed frozen, and although butter just makes everything yummier, you can tell the difference between fresh and frozen vegetables. When it comes to meats, the story is much the same.
Next, the ad takes the leap from frozen produce to frozen processed foods, or as they like to put it, “The just crafted, just baked meals that you’ll find in your freezer aisle.” Have you looked at the ingredients in that “just baked” Hot Pockets? How about our old friend citric acid, along with dextrose, sodium citrate, and good old xanthan gum. All of these are non-naturally occurring ingredients of which the debate is still going on as to whether they are harmless to humans. Add to the likelihood that a company like Nestle has no problem including GMO corn products in the creation of these ingredients, and we are getting deeper into a Food, Inc.-like nightmare.
Fresh food is better than frozen when the majority of your food is real food. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional guilty pleasure, but if you’re eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins you want the very best flavors and nutritional value out of them. That means buying fresh and buying local. That’s why the solution is clear: Don’t freeze it, BerryBreeze it! Our patented technology kills all the yucky fridge funk that makes food go bad more quickly (including the mold on your broccoli that is in fact the same thing in a different state than xanthan gum). Father’s Day is coming up, why not give a dad the gift of freshness? Just click here.
What do you think of the AFFI ad? Leave a comment below!