Why Are Frozen Vegetables Better Than Fresh?
We see advertisements that vegetables are plucked from the fields and rushed to the table, the gold standard. But the truth is that most fresh vegetables sold in foodservice are unripe so that they can stand up to shipping.
High-quality frozen vegetables are picked at their ripest moment. After initial preparation, these vegetables are often blanched, or slightly pre-cooked, a process that ensures they retain much of their natural appearance and flavor during extended storage. And, this flavor and appearance is actually superior to that of fresh vegetables.
Let's look at why frozen vegetables win in this race.
Compared to fresh, frozen vegetables and fruits are easy to store, make efficient use of storage space, provide longer shelf life and free up walk-in/refrigerator space for high-turnover items.
Unlike fresh vegetables, every ounce of frozen vegetables is available. There's no need to spend money on stems, trim and discard, wilt or spoil. When stored properly, produce stays frozen and perfect until you're ready to use it. Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) vegetables can be kept in the refrigerator.
Frozen vegetables and potatoes have a shelf life of up to two years and are practically always in season, so you can be assured of consistent quality year-round. This is especially important for operations that have core products on the menu year after year, or that plan, rotate and budget on a long-cycle annual calendar.
Frozen vegetables and potatoes are an ideal solution to labor challenges because they eliminate costly preparation work. They also reduce the need for training and skilled labor because they are easy and fast to prepare and serve.
Operators who care about providing healthy, wholesome food should know that frozen vegetables have an excellent story, which has been confirmed by many independent studies. One such study, conducted by the University of Illinois, showed that frozen vegetables have comparable, if not greater, nutritional value compared to fresh vegetables.
By the pound, frozen vegetables tend to cost less than fresh vegetables, especially when you consider the hidden costs of labor, spoilage and waste associated with fresh vegetables. And, compared to fresh produce, frozen vegetables offer significantly more price stability over the course of the year.
The consistent slice size and blend ratio of quality frozen vegetables means you always know exactly what you're serving, time after time, year after year. Because fresh ingredients constantly fluctuate in quality, price, size and availability, frozen vegetables provide you with an effective way to predict and control plate placement and food costs.
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