What Are The Benefits Of Frozen Meals?
Look, we get it. Frozen meals have a bad rap. And we understand why, especially given the quality of food historically on offer in the frozen section of your supermarket.
If you cast your mind over all of your frozen meal experiences, you’re probably getting images of limp vegetables, tough, gristly meats, flavourless sauces and an ingredient label so long and complex it more resembles a science experiment. And you probably ate them while watching The Price Is Right at your Grandma’s house. And she probably fell asleep halfway through with a carrot or two dangling out of her mouth. Probably.
Enchanting imagery aside, this completely imaginary scene summarises all too well the common sentiments people have towards frozen meals.
Thank goodness then for SwoleFoods. For we have come to show you the better side of frozen meals and just how delicious, nutritious and convenient they can be, and how beneficial they are for you and the world around you.
Join me as we journey in to the benefits of frozen meals.
Frozen Meals Are Delicious And Nutritious
When we say frozen, we don’t mean meals that we’ve cooked and then popped in the kitchen freezer. Our meals are frozen using a technique called blast freezing, which means to quickly freeze an item using cold, circulating air at a considerably lower temperature than the freezer you have at home.
The process of blast freezing foods is a fantastic method for locking in nutrients and as a result, frozen foods are just as or sometimes more nutritious than fresh options.
That’s because the fresh foods you are consuming might not actually be as fresh as you think.
Many meals that claim to be fresh are often quite a few days old before they reach you, once you factor in the time it takes to cook, package, store, deliver and stock the meals, and older still when you finally get around to eating them. In some cases your meal could be more than a week old before it enters your mouth.
As food ages, it begins to lose flavour, colour, texture and vital nutrients. We’re not talking about weeks or months here – certain fruits and vegetables, for example, begin to degrade as soon as they’re picked.
Studies show that vegetables can lose 15 to 55 percent of their vitamin C content within a week. Green peas lose over half their vitamin C in the first 24 to 48 hours after picking. Some spinach can lose 90 percent within the first 24 hours. Freezing produce quickly after harvesting is an all-natural method of protecting against nutrient loss.
When comparing nutrients in different fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, researchers found that vitamin C was higher in frozen corn, green beans and blueberries than their fresh equivalents, and that frozen broccoli contained more B vitamins than fresh broccoli.
Most fresh meal manufacturers try to offset the deterioration of their meals by adding in lots of flavours, colours and preservatives, so that retailers have longer to sell the meals before they expire, and so that when you eat the meal it doesn’t look, smell or taste as bad as it actually is.
Once frozen, our meals are essentially locked in time, putting a halt to any process of degradation of nutrients, flavours and textures.
Our meals are cooked and blast frozen within hours, locking in all the freshness and maintaining the nutrient profile in tact. This means that when it comes time to eat the meals, they taste so fresh you’d have thought they’d just been cooked. (To be fair we’re so quick at deliveries they probably were just cooked).
Freezing won’t make our meals taste good by itself, however. We have to make sure that there is plenty of nutrients and flavour in there to begin with.
This is where ingredient quality matters! By using premium quality, all natural ingredients and the industry leading freezing techniques, we create what we believe to be the healthiest, best tasting ready-made meal on the market.
Frozen Meals Are Convenient
Speaking of deliveries, the frozen model falls flat if the meals have defrosted when you receive them. The meals must remain in a frozen state when they're travelling from our kitchen freezers to yours in order for you to reap all the benefits.
If you’ve given us a try before you might have noticed that we’re pretty quick at deliveries, especially here in Auckland (which is where we call home). We have to be, because when it comes to keeping food cold, time is truly of the upmost essence.
Everything that we send out travels on an overnight courier, which reduces the amount of time that your meals are left sitting around in a warm courier van. Better still, all orders in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua get sent using a special refrigerated courier service, meaning that your meals are kept cold from the moment we send them till they arrive at your door.
For deliveries outside these areas we use world leading, biodegradable wool insulation in tandem with ice packs to maintain a low temperature inside the box, keeping everything nice and chilled.
Having food delivered to your home has got to be one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. I mean seriously, how easy can life get?!
There’s no shopping necessary – you won’t need to brave the busy supermarket or carry heavy bags of groceries home. There’s no stress about forgetting ingredients, or sadness at struggling through a bland meal that would have tasted better had you remembered all the ingredients. You don't need to set aside hours to cook - no need to find your goggles to chop onions and no risk of them fogging up and slicing off a finger.
You don't need to slave over a bubbling stew to stop it sticking to the side of the pot, and you don't run the risk of it splattering all over your crisp white shirt.
And best of all, there's no need to wash up when you're done! No plates to rinse, no pots to scrub, no sink full of dishes to navigate when you've just woken up and want to fill a glass of water. Bliss!
Within a couple of minutes your dinner is served, faster and more nutritious than fast food. And because they’re frozen, you can keep your freezer stocked up without the fear of food going off if you don’t get around to eating it all at once.
Which leads us nicely to my last point.
Frozen Meals Are Good For You And The World Around You
It is estimated that in NZ we throw away 157,389 tonnes of food each year. That is equivalent to 271 jumbo jets of food that ends up rotting away in a landfill instead of being eaten. All of this food works out to be worth $1.17 billion each year!
A major contributor to this disastrous figure is leftovers. It is estimated that 12,000 tonnes of leftovers end up being thrown out instead of filling your lunch box.
To put this in to perspective, if you cast a quick eye around the current state of your fridge, you’ll probably notice at least one or two food items that are past their use by date. First thought would be to take these items, throw them in the bin and forget they ever existed, right?
Imagine for a second that these items didn’t just magically disappear. Imagine that every time things went off in your fridge or pantry they just kept piling up.
Week after week – the leftovers that you never got around to finishing, the bags of lettuce that you forgot about, the sauces that you used once and didn’t enjoy, all begin to build and over the course of a year you've developed a pile of rotting food to the tune of roughly 30kg.
And that’s just for one person, in one year. Imagine what this looks like for 8 billion people at a global scale!
Our frozen meals can help to reduce the amount of food waste you produce in a couple of ways.
The first being that frozen meals last. Freezing is nature’s way of preserving, and our meals, when stored correctly in your freezer, will last you until you’re ready to eat them (if in doubt, you can always check the best before date printed on each meal).
Not only will they not go off on you, but they will still taste delicious and be full of nutrients when you do decide to heat them for dinner.
You might have noticed that our meals come in three different ranges – Swole, Active and Low Carb. Each range has it’s own serving size, which is a great way to ensure that you are eating the right amount of food according to your appetite. This helps to avoid any situation where you’ve cooked too much and end up throwing out leftovers.
Hungry to taste the benefits of frozen meals in your life? A great way to give us a try is with a Swole Starter Pack. It comes with six meals, two from each of our three ranges, so that you can get to know which quantity of food works best for you. Get started today!