width=200With food prices high and the economy still recovering, many of us struggle to eat healthily because of the cost of good food. Fresh fruit and vegetables can see grocery bills soaring.

But, there's good news this week from a UK study by the Institute of Food Research. Scientists have shown that frozen vegetables retain more nutrients, which are locked in when the produce is frozen, soon after picking.

Many customers thought the fresh vegetables were less than four days old, but in fact it can take up to two weeks for veggies to get from the ground to the dinner table.

The scientists found that, when fresh produce took 9 days to reach the store, 4 days on the shelves, and another couple of days in people's homes before being used:

Green beans can have lost up to 45 per cent of nutrients, broccoli and cauliflower 25 per cent, garden peas up to 15 per cent, and carrots up to 10 per cent.

Although this study has been carried out on behalf of a major frozen foods manufacturer, Birds Eye, the results echo those of earlier research by the Centre for Food Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University.

Should You Buy Frozen Instead of Fresh?

  • Frozen veg is generally cheaper than the fresh equivalent - perhaps encouraging you to buy and eat more.
  • Frozen veg may be more convenient - ready chopped, available in mixed bags, etc.
  • Frozen veg will keep for a month without losing any nutrients or quality, whereas fresh veg will only last a few days.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons to buy fresh veggies too (you may have a wider choice, and you may like to cook your carrots whole...) Do you use mainly frozen or mainly fresh vegetables in your cooking? What are your main reasons for this choice - cost, flavor, convenience?