By the American Frozen Food Institute......
In March, the Food and Drug Administration declared that frozen produce can be just as good for you as the fresh stuff. At issue were 1994 food labeling regulations, which held processed fruits and vegetables to a higher standard of proof than raw foods when branding the produce with a "healthy" label. Industry representatives argued that produce frozen just after picking was nutritionally equivalent to fresh. They bolstered their position by saying that such items as spinach, grapes or carrots may spend a long time between being picked and being consumed -- on trucks, or in store displays -- losing nutrients as they age. The FDA found merit in that claim, concluding that the overall goal is to get Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, at least five servings a day. Many nutrition professionals agree.
"Frozen foods are frozen at their peak in terms of freshness and nutrition," says Diane Quagliani, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "So there's really no reason that people should not choose frozen. I love fresh vegetables, don't get me wrong, but frozen vegetables are wonderful items in terms of convenience." That's also the message from Christine Perry, senior editor at the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter in Boston. "It's better to focus on getting fruits and vegetables in your diet, whether they are fresh or frozen," she says. "It's tricky to say that one is better than the other; fresh produce loses vitamins if it has been sitting on the shelf. Others may argue that the fresh stuff tastes better and it's good to support local farmers.'' www.healthyfood.org/sub/pbhffm.html
In 1998, the Food & Drug Administration granted the American Frozen Food Institute a petition to allow frozen produce to be labeled as healthy. FDA
stated that frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh produce in regard to their nutrient profiles (Fed. Reg. 63:57 page 14351 March 25, 1998).
Therefore, frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables provide the same essential nutrients and health benefits. In fact, frozen fruits and vegetables are
fresh fruits and vegetables that have been blanched (cooked for a short time in boiling water or steamed) and frozen within hours of being picked. Frozen
fruits and vegetables are processed at their highest point of nutritional content.
And now "by Beth"....If you buy fresh veggies, wash them well! We use both fresh and frozen.