Whole Foods Lifestyle - Fresh from South America or frozen?

01-03-2009, 02:02 PM
I've been struggling with this one. I know fresh and local is best but I live in New England and I'm just not willing to spend the winter without produce. I dry what I can but we need more veggies in our life!

I've seen arguments on both sides:
1 - Fresh and raw is always better so just buy organic
2 - When it's coming a long distance anyway frozen is likely to have been picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness and hold its nutrients better

I know I kind of work my way through this while using the dirty dozen list to determine what absolutely must be organic (yeah, all organic is better but our grocery bill for 2 people and 2 cats is already insane so I balance when I can). I figure broccoli has a long ripeness window so if it's coming from Florida I'll buy it but other veggies are more fragile and I choose frozen (organic spinach, for example).

I'm curious to hear how other people balance this dilemma

01-03-2009, 02:23 PM
I dunno. I'm not sold on the all or nothing approach to organics. I don't even really trust commercial organics all that much more than non-organic.

To me, it's important that I just eat my veggies :) During the summer and early fall I can go to the farmer's market and I much prefer that delivery method, but in the winter I have no problem making due in other ways. I do like fresh mango, but it's rarely affordable and am I shortchanging my health by using frozen mango in my morning smoothie? Probably not.

Also, I don't think your two points kind of negate each other. Yes, fresh raw is awesome, but then so is a diet high in produce- frozen or not :) I have learned that frozen and raw produce can live very harmoniously in my belly.

01-03-2009, 02:42 PM
Just an aside, broccoli probably is better frozen if it's not very fresh. The nutrient value decreases rapidly. I tried to google how "rapidly" but didn't seem to find it, although I've read many a time before. OTOH, fresh broccoli is so much more appealing. Frozen just doesn't cook up the same, especially if you're trying to do the crisp-tender thing.

01-03-2009, 11:22 PM
Hmmm, if I didn't eat frozen or imported, I'd go the winter without produce. :) I just wrote in the grocery post that we grow much of our produce, so I have my own frozen, but the variety is limited, and there are things that can't be or aren't good frozen (to me), so I buy fresh from the grocery in the 9 months I can't get home or local grown fresh. THe organic fresh stuff that shows up in Alaska looks dreadful. It's my last choice of fresh things to buy! In the summer we do have a local organic farm, and I often get things there that we don't grow - often because I only want "some" not a whole crop.

01-03-2009, 11:40 PM
I buy whatever looks good that isn't too expensive. In the summer and early fall that usually does mean local farmers market. In the winter, I buy whatever looks good in the produce section and then buy frozen. I buy a few canned products, but not many. Beets are the only veggie I actually like to buy in the can over fresh (and I don't think I've ever seen frozen beets).

The only organic product I buy regularly, is Sam's Club organic spring mix lettuce mix (the plain one, not the one that comes with feta cheese, almonds and craisins), and that's because the big box is only about $4, and it makes a lot of salads.