The World's Healthiest Foods

Is fresh always better than frozen?

If we had to give a one word answer to this question, our one word answer would be: no. Fresh is not always better than frozen. The reason is very simple: "better" depends on quality. Suppose, for example, we chose the highest quality food source as an example: an organically grown food, grown during its natural season, and in its native habitat. In this case, would the fresh version always be better than the frozen one? Yes! Freezing would decrease the overall nutrient content of the food (although in some cases, only slightly). So fresh in this circumstance would always be better. But imagine a second example, where the fresh food - let's say, fresh broccoli, was grown out-of-season, in a non-hospitable habitat, with the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. And to continue on in our example, let's say the frozen broccoli was grown organically in its native habitat in season. In this case, the frozen broccoli would make a better choice than the fresh broccoli because of its higher quality. Research studies have shown organically grown broccoli to have higher nutrient content than non-organically grown broccoli, and to have virtually no pesticide residues (in comparison to potentially health-compromising levels in the non-organically grown version). Particularly when foods are not in season, or when organically-grown products are not available, frozen organic alternatives make good sense. When fresh, organically grown foods are available, however, they always top the nourishment chart!

This page was updated on: 2004-11-18 22:00:00
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation