Frozen Foods: Where did we go wrong?
According to the American Frozen Food Institute, the average American eats 72 frozen meals a year [source: Alexander]. In 2010, the New York Times published an article stating that Americans consume 31% more packaged foods than fresh food.
And yet, despite the fact that consumption and production are on the rise, consumers everywhere are being urged to avoid the frozen food aisles, and favor the ‘periphery’ (fresh produce), instead. In fact, much of America’s obesity epidemic is being blamed on the rise of ‘convenience’ foods, including frozen meals.
But are they really all that bad?
As a company that produces frozen foods, uses wholesome nutrients, and above all else, eats the products ourselves, we believe it’s not the case. Of course, there are frozen foods that aren’t good for you. A lot of them. Which is why we, at Good Food Made Simple, believe that frozen foods need to undergo a transformation, and we want to be a part of it. With brands like Amy’s, Annie’s and Alexia, we’ve got more than a fighting chance. Our goal is to recreate the notion of ‘frozen’ as bad, and even more that [gasp], it can be a part of our daily diet.
Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at the statistics. Apples to apples, (or should we say, oatmeal to oatmeal). Good Food Made Simple’s 100% whole grain unsweetened oatmeal. Slowly simmered and flash frozen, it’s all the goodness of homemade oatmeal, without the messy pots and time over the stove. With 3 ingredients, (whole grain steel cut oats, filtered water, and sea salt), it’s everything we want in oatmeal and nothing we don’t. 3 minutes in the microwave, topped with your own choice of fruit or nuts, it’s the perfect ‘I have 5 minutes to eat and be out the door’, breakfast. Or in our case, the perfect ‘bring to the office and eat out of a mug’ treat.
For the sake of comparison, let’s look at Starbucks “Perfect” Oatmeal. If you look at just the nutrition facts, the two are comparable with Mccann’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal. In fact, Good Food Made Simple’s Original contains an extra gram of fiber (while Starbucks has an added half gram of saturated fat). But that’s only half the story. What about ingredients? While our original steel cut contains only three ingredients, Starbucks boasts 13 different ingredients! We don’t know about you, but we don’t need any guar gum in our oats. Fresh or not.
What does all of this mean? Well, it means you need to look at your ingredients. Just because something is ‘fresh’ or ‘frozen’ doesn’t mean it’s better or worse. It’s what’s inside that counts.
Question: Do you eat frozen foods?