The Vegetable Wars: Fresh V Frozen

I have to admit, I’m not the healthiest eater.  I wish I could say I’m vegetarian or eat nothing but organic food.  But the truth is I like crisps and KFC too much for my own good, although having said that, I don’t eat them too much either, or at least not as much I would want to.  For one, we don’t have a KFC nearby, and as for the crisps I never buy big packs, just to make sure we don’t have much of it and when it’s gone, it’s gone.  We shop monthly and do little top-ups for milk and other essentials (and they don’t include crisps) either in the nearest Coop or our local garage.

When it comes to my daughter though, I make sure that she always has vegetables and fruits to eat.  I used to give her some biscuits when she comes in from school and complains about being hungry.  But then I noticed, when dinner time came, she would hardly touch her food.  So I’ve banned snacks during school days, when she’s hungry, I give her a bowl of grapes, apples, pear or a banana.  I’m glad to say she now eats her dinner.

We eat mostly home cooked meals prepared from scratch.  I used to buy loads of fresh vegetables, but noticed that most times, I’d end up throwing half of them away. They get mouldy or too wilted and sad-looking.  The one downside of buying fresh vegetables is that they never last long.  They end up being thrown away.  Does anyone know any trick to make them last longer?

“Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes.  We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten” –  Source: Love Food Hate Waste

Can you imagine, 7 million tonnes of food and drink?  I can’t even begin to imagine how much that pile looks like, only that it’s probably enough to feed the hungry from all parts of the world.

So I thought, maybe instead of buying fresh, I should opt to buy frozen vegetables instead, that way I don’t throw any waste.  At least I won’t have to worry about using them before their sell-by-date or at least before they turn mouldy.  But then I always worry about its health benefits.  Am I feeding my little family junk by giving them frozen veg instead of fresh ones?

It turns out that frozen vegetables are healthier, because they are first blanched to kill germs before being frozen, the whole process actually locks in the nutrients.  How cool is that?

I didn’t know that fresh vegetables sold in the stores, especially the ones that are imported from abroad are less nutritious than the frozen ones.  Why?  Simply because they are picked and packed before they are ready and by doing so their nutrients are arrested.

Who knew that frozen vegetables are healthier than fresh ones?  I certainly didn’t.  But having learned all that, I’m still in favour of buying fresh vegetables, but in smaller portions (and buy them more needed), to make sure I don’t waste them or that they will end up in the bottom of our bin.  And also our bet is to buy local fresh vegetables, where we know where they were grown from.  You wouldn’t want vegetables that were picked and packed even before they were ripened, would you?  Or better yet, plant your own vegetable patch.  If we had the space, that’s the first thing I would do.

What about you? Do you buy fresh vegetables or frozen ones?

Filed under Little Musings

I'm a part-time writer, full-time mother and dog-walker living in a small English village by the sea with my husband, daughter and a dog named Doc.


  1. Leah Miller

    I completely agree with the wastage being an issue in this country. It is drummed into us that fresh food is so much better for us than frozen, but actually that is not the case. I do, however, think that fresh veg cooks better than frozen, as it turns out much less soggy!

    • That is so true about frozen veg turning soggy! And I still like the idea of fresh veg 😉

  2. I always have a pack of frozen mixed veg in my freezer for mixing in with casseroles but we have have a tiny freezer so I can’t keep much in there. I tend to buy what I need regularly rather than weekly. We’ve also recently got an allotment so hopefully we’ll be eating our own vegetables in a couple of months!

    • I’m envious about the allotment. We’ve been on our village list for allotments for years now, but there’s nothing available. Hopefully soon 😉

  3. We buy a lot of frozen veg. I find it much more convenient and, as you say the shop bought veg often doesn’t last long at all.

    • I do try to balance it all out with the frozen veg and fresh ones 🙂 The frozen ones though are so convenient to have!

  4. Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life

    I had no idea frozen veg was healthier then fresh. I only ever buy frozen peas and sweetcorn and buy everything else fresh. I probably should buy more frozen veg as we end up throwing too much fresh out xx

  5. haha great minds! (I just wrote a post on all the ways to use frozen fruit!) I couldn’t agree with you more – (plus we always eat the unhealthy food first :p so otherwise our veg goes off!)

    • Yes, great minds think alike As for junk, as long as we balance it with eating veg, all is well.

  6. We use quite a bit of frozen veg, but don’t have a very big freezer so can’t use it as often as I’d like. I’m trying to run the freezer down at the moment too as we fill it with homemade ‘ready meals’ in preparation for after the baby arrives x

    • Yes, thats the problem with frozen veg – storage. Home cooked frozen meals are such a convenience too, aren’t they?

  7. It’s absolutely shocking how much food goes to waste especially when it’s because it just has a lump on it so doesn’t look perfect. How many people could be feed who are struggling to buy food

  8. We tend to mainly buy frozen, we do by fresh occasionally but it always come in handy having a bag in the freezer 🙂 but yeah I didn’t realise that frozen was actually healthier, makes me feel a bit better about it now x

    • Same here. Relieved to know that frozen veg is healthy, even healthier than fresh ones 🙂

  9. I never used to buy frozen veggies but now I live for them, I like to buy fresh veggies now and again but most of the time it’s frozen veggies and glad to know they are more healthy

    • It’s definitely nice to know that we’re not compromising our family’s health by buying frozen veg 🙂

  10. I *hate* wasting food. It’s infuriating to watch TV programmes where people over-buy. We use a combination of fresh and frozen but we only buy what we need. Planning saves on money and waste 🙂

    • I used to plan our meals too. It really does make a difference in expenses and what we buy. Must get around to doing it again!

  11. Lisa Backsnbumps

    I hate wasting food and it depends where I buy fruit and veg from. The only place I’ve found where it actually lasts is Sainsburys, it’s more expensive than Aldi where I get lots of food but then I’m not throwing it away.

    • Must admit I haven’t tried the fresh veg over at Sainsburys. Not even sure if we have one nearby, will check, especially if their veg lasts longer 🙂

  12. The very busy mummy

    I used to do the same, always buy and waste fresh veg then I watched something with Jamie Oliver and he spoke about the health benefits of frozen veg so ever since then I’ve bought it. It’s so much easier too, I even get the frozen chopped onions and peppers which speed up the prep time as well.

  13. Coombe Mill - Fiona

    I must say we do a good mix of both. Things like broccoli need just blanching if frozen and then they do taste as good as fresh, but over cook them and they turn to mush! Nothing gets thrown away here, old veg I use in spag boll, older still goes to our pigs including all pealings

    • Same here. Nothing gets thrown away either, we have Doc! Although I must say, I don’t think he’ll eat soiled veg. At least I haven’t tried it with him yet 😉 x

  14. BloggerMummyLauren

    I am not a big fan of frozen veg, I find it doesn’t cook as well as fresh. I do worry about food waste though. If we have a lot of left over veg I do try to make some kind of soup or something from it.

  15. Ana De- Jesus

    I never knew that frozen veg was healthier that does surprise me. I know what you mean about waste too!

  16. We buy a lot of frozen vegetables during the winter months, especially as we live so remotely (little island in the middle of the north sea 200 miles from the mainland) meaning fresh stuff takes ages to get to us. In the summer I buy a local (withing 10 miles as the crow flies) organic weekly vegetable box bursting with vibrance and flavour. Veg box schemes are definitely the way forward if you want quality.

  17. We eat lots of frozen vegetables as I find it far more economic and they don’t go off if you forget about them

  18. Ha ha, I work for the company that is behind LFHW so I can spout out a lot about food waste. However, I’m still really bad about chucking food mainly because I plan to cook certain things, then the OH changes his mind. So now rather than doing a big weekly shop I shop as and when I need it – costs more but does waste less.

    I rarely buy frozen veg – I’m just not as big a fan – peas yes, broccoli if pushed, but spinach is rank, and we prefer veg that doesn’t freeze as well. You can obviously blanch your own broccoli or carrots etc and freeze it yourself.

    • If the big shops were nearby I think I’d rather shop when needed like you do. And also freezing your own veg is a great idea! 🙂

  19. I am definitely fresh veg unless it is peas, then peas I prefer frozen, I dont even know why that is, but it is x

  20. Ickle Pickle

    I used to throw away so much fresh veg so do buy more frozen – although frozen broccoli is horrible so I do buy that fresh. Kaz x

  21. Frozen veg all the way for me and my family. I buy fresh ones to last me a week, frankly they all taste the same as far as I can tell.

    • As long as we all make a point to eat vegetables regardless of whether it is frozen all not, all is good.

  22. VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood

    I buy both. And I absolutely hate food waste. Anything that’s bought has to be eaten.

  23. Annette, 3 Little Buttons

    We tend to buy both, but like you have found that fresh tends to go off and wilted very quickly. It’s always good to know where produce has come from. Really interesting post #BloggerClubUK

  24. Mudpie Fridays

    We are not very good at planning so tend to buy that evening on the way home for work or on Fridays for the weekend its painful but it means we actually don’t waste as much. So we tend to buy fresh but I think after reading this I will mix it up with some frozen bits too. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week x

    • Planning is a great way as to avoid waste. I used to do this, but not anymore. I really should! 😉 x

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