When you think of frozen food, what comes to mind? Microwave meals? Cardboard pretending to be pizza? It used to be that freezing was simply a method of preserving fresh food. Now, freezing is associated with lower quality, processed products that barely count as food.
Fresh, on the other hand, is associated with healthier, higher quality food. When we think “fresh”, we think local—because we know where it came from and how far it traveled.
Yet freshness is actually a question of how old something is. As food ages, it deteriorates. And every food has a shelf life—a point at which it has deteriorated so far, it’s no longer safe to eat.
Seafood is no different. Like all food, it has a shelf life. And like all food, it’s freshness can be preserved through high quality freezing. Proper, high quality freezing stops the aging process in its tracks. So, when fish that has been frozen properly is thawed, it’s as fresh as the day it was frozen.
Now, frozen seafood has earned a poor reputation for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that often, fish is kept fresh for several weeks. Then, when it’s near the end of its shelf life, it’s frozen as a last resort. This means that when you thaw the fish, it’s already pretty low quality.
What’s more, freezing technology has come a long way in recent years. Whereas it used to take a lot longer to freeze food, now, flash freezing brings food to a frozen state in minutes, even seconds.
This is important because of what happens when you freeze fish slowly. If you throw a fish in your home freezer, it will freeze very slowly, and in the process, water molecules expand, causing micro-tears in the flesh. So, when you thaw the fish, it’s soft and “mushy” as a result.
Flash freezing, however, solves this problem. It literally freezes a fish “in time” so that, when it’s thawed, it’s the same as the day it was frozen.
Don’t believe us? Neither did the folks at Ecotrust who decided to put freezing methods to the test! They teamed up with Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center and Seafood Analytics to perform a blind side-by-side taste test of fresh versus frozen fish.
Look out for Round Two of our “FRESH” versus Frozen series where we examine the shocking (for some!) results of this study.
The moral of the story? Don’t be fooled by the great FRESH FISH COVER-UP.
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Sonia - April 3, 2019
“FRESH” versus Frozen
Sonia - April 3, 2019