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What Elite Has to Say About "Fresh vs. Frozen"
We think it’s time to address a long-time debate in the meal prep industry.. is fresh really better than frozen?
The common (and truthfully, misguided) belief is that meals prepared, cooked, and delivered fresh have higher nutritional benefits than those that are frozen. We’re here to tell you.. that’s just not true. In many cases, the opposite can be true. Frozen foods, like fruits and vegetables may actually be healthier than some fresh produce because they tend to be prepared at their peak ripeness – meaning, when they are most nutrient-packed.
As you know, at Elite Lifestyle Cuisine we flash freeze our meals before they arrive at your door. Flash freezing is a natural method of preserving meats and produce in order maintain nutrient levels and prevent the spread of bacteria. What you probably didn’t know is food begins to decay, and bacteria begins to multiply as soon as it is cooked, which is why food must be refrigerated when not being consumed. When we flash freeze, we are preserving the MOST amount of vitamins and nutrients in the most natural way (without any chemicals).
So what is it that makes food “go bad?” It is the rapid reproduction of bacteria in your food. Even when cooked at high temperatures, the bacteria is never completely eradicated. The small amount of bacteria that remains in the food will continue to multiply as time passes – in or out of the refrigerator. TIP: Be mindful of what you cannot see happening to your “healthy” meals.
Many consumers do not realize that foods experience rapid losses in their nutritional value when stored for more than a few days. For example, some fruits and vegetables can lose as much as 50% of their vitamins and nutrients throughout the week, depending on the temperature in which they are stored.
When ordering from a meal prep company that delivers “fresh” rather than frozen, try and think about the amount of time it has already spent sitting out. From preparation, to packaging, to transport and finally, to your fridge (in addition to the time it takes for you to consume)… not as fresh as you thought, huh? The longer food is stored in the refrigerator, freezer or cupboard, the greater the nutrient losses.
This case is not only true for fruits and vegetables, it is also true for your proteins. The strains of bacteria that are the most harmful tend to grow more on protein-rich foods. Have you ever eaten leftovers that stood in the fridge too long and gotten a really bad stomach ache from it? That’s why we have to be a lot more careful with the quality of freshness in our proteins, and the best way to preserve freshness and slow/halt the spread of bacteria in mets is to freeze them.
At Elite Lifestyle Cuisine, we’ve created a meal prep model that allows us to serve our clients in the best way we can. Using high quality ingredients, healthy/delicious and strategic recipes, & natural food preserving processes, we are confident we are delivering the best product there is. Our meals not only retain the most amount of nutrients in both our vegetables and proteins, but they are the safest to store for when YOU are ready to have them. When you #EatElite, you can be sure your meals are made with integrity.
No matter which route you decide to take in terms of meal prep, here are a few things you should know about preparing and storing your foods in order to receive the most out of your meals:
According to the FDA, refrigerator storage life for both poultry and cooked fish is no more than 3-4 days
Leftovers from cooked foods should be placed in the fridge no longer than 2 hours after cooking
Food kept outside of the fridge at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be thrown out
Bacteria grows fastest between temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (most refrigerators are kept at 40 degrees or lower, so keepin food in the fridge will slow but not halt bacteria growth
Freezers, however, are kept under 32 degrees, so freezing food can actually stop bacteria growth!
Freezing is one of the most effective methods of preserving meat