Defining the Value of Fruit: Canned, Frozen and Fresh Fruit Nutrition
Which of these three is better for you? Better tasting? Well, if nothing has been added… frozen? No, no… Fresh, of course! Or wait, is it? We attempted to dig a bit deeper in order to discover the simple truth.
Nutritional Value of the Fruit You Eat
The antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, those essential nutrients that we enjoy in our favorite fruits, can be found in all three varieties of fruits, regardless of whether you buy them in the store, pull them out of the freezer or pick them from some sort of tree or plant. So, what then? Should we just buy the cheapest fruits we can find? After all, everything else in the United States is becoming more and more difficult to afford. So the answer, it turns out, comes to us in two parts: 1.) Stop spending money on the other stuff, Mr. and Mrs. Starbucks, and 2.) Spend that money on quality fruit.
The Lowdown on Canned Fruit
NO, you shouldn’t short change your fruit buying experience. Canned fruit is OK when you purchase the fruit that’s packaged in its own juice. Those pears, peaches, cherries, pineapple and fruit cocktail in the heavy syrup or glaze… those ones aren’t going to be counted on the good list, necessarily. You might as well just scoop a spoonful of sugar and put a chunk of pineapple on top before you swallow it down. Sure, it is better than NO fruit, but if you buy quality fruit, it will offer all of the natural sweetness that you’ll need or desire.
Cold Hard Facts on Frozen Fruit
I’ll admit to using frozen fruit when I’m baking a cobbler. You can buy the berries in such bulk that when they thaw, they’re swimming in a nice berry juice that’s perfect for the filling. The same goes for a nice fruit or protein smoothie — the frozen fruit works well. And who knows where the stuff has come from, what it’s been sprayed with… was it boiled before it was frozen? More than likely it was, or frozen with the bug spray? At least a little bit? Not knocking any fruit farms that sell their stuff frozen, but honestly, who knows EXACTLY what you’re getting from canned or frozen fruit?
The News About Fresh Fruit
To reiterate: Yes, frozen and canned fruits have the same nutrients as fresh fruit. Yes, eating any fruit is better than eating no fruit. But the reality is that fruit consumption stretches far beyond putting the banana or berry in your mouth and enjoying the taste and health benefits.
Where’s the fruit coming from? What about the cost of global transportation? What kind of effect is it having on the environment? What about the farms? What effect are they having on the local Eco-system or on the soil that is used for farming? Is the land being abused? What kind of pesticides are being used? And you can consider all of these questions for the vast majority of the fresh fruit you see at your local supermarket. With regard to green, did fruit just become a bad thing?
This might be suggesting certain lifestyle choices that come off as extreme and potentially unrealistic for most hard working people who don’t have extra thousands of dollars each month to buy organic, or time to shop only at farmer’s markets. So maybe it’s just a seed for thought and consideration. Along those lines, here’s a solution to consider: Shop Your local Farmers’ Market.
Regardless of where you reside, there’s a good chance that local farmers share their crops in an effort to make a little money of their own. Not only do farmers markets offer the best fresh fruit (and vegetables!) that you’ll find, you can rest assured that the fruit you see is truly fresh. There’s competition in every direction, selling the same bag — they’ve got to offer the best.
Competition is a good thing because many small farmers have made the choice to go organic. NOW you’re talking quality fruit. Even the super-farms have begun to offer organic choices in frozen and canned foods, so if you’re going to purchase the pre-packaged, go organic.
Fresh fruit, in season, simply can’t be touched with regard to the overall, high-quality positive impact on your body that fruit provides. But regardless of that fact, do yourself a huge favor — eat more fruit! Enjoy it often. It’s really good for you.
Copyright 2010 Easy Ways to Go Green