Being that March is National Frozen Food Month we felt like now is as good a time as any to talk about why and how we decided to join the ranks of Frozen Food Manufacturers, as opposed to fresh food aggregators, in our mission to serve the local food movement.
First, the simple facts: there are no “fresh” local foods available in Indiana today, in March of the year. With few exceptions such as greenhouse operations and hydroponics, fresh food from the local food supply is limited by growing season. So, that being the case, there is no way to sell local food in a market like Indiana outside of the summer.
More importantly, however, is that the health benefit of buying local, sustainably-raised food does not diminish with freezing. Unlike canning, which adds sodium and other preservative measures to alter the food, freezing food creates no chemical alteration on the food. It simply slows the biological process of decomposition by rendering bacteria and other enzymes inert due to temperature. So, in effect, when you thaw a fresh-frozen product (like our vegetables) today you are enjoying the same quality product as if you had bought it fresh at a Farmer’s Market last summer. The FDA has stated there is virtually no nutritional difference between fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
The goal of Frozen Food Month, in the grocery industry at large, is to raise awareness of the benefits of local food. Our goal this month is a bit more specific: to raise awareness of the availability of LOCAL FOOD that only freezing can afford us.