Updated: Jun 7
I’ve been talking about freezing food for a while now. I can’t stress enough how it has transformed my experience in the kitchen.
I no longer need to cook when I’m busy or tired. Instead, I open my freezer and go shopping. All year long, I retrieve foods that I froze when they were at their peak. I rely on my freezer so much that I decided to write a freezer primer—everything, or almost, you need to know about freezing food.
It turns out there is a lot more information than I thought so I’ve divided it into three blog posts. Let’s start with why freezing food is so important.
Freezing is one of the most effective methods of preserving food. It helps to extend the life of perishable foods by slowing down and even halting the growth of microorganisms. That allows us to store food for longer periods without any significant loss of quality.
The process of freezing preserves the nutritional value in foods. There may be some loss during the freezing process but it’s minimal. Since freezing retains the vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, our food retains the quality it had when we put it into the freezer.
Preparing and freezing meals in advance allows for extra time and flexibility on those days we are too busy and end up choosing to order in or prepare processed food. Though both options are quick, the cost is higher than using homemade frozen meals, and not always good for you.
Being able to take advantage of sales and discounts and buying in bulk is only feasible when you can freeze and store the excess for future use.
One of my favorite ways to take advantage of my freezer is to use it to preserve the flavors of fresh food when it is at its ripest. Having access to the full flavor of seasonal foods during the months when they are no longer available is a great way to enjoy that intense aroma all year long.
Freezing leftovers or foods that may spoil soon will extend their usability and reduce the amount of food we discard. Wasting food means it will end up in landfills and produce methane gas.
Those methane emissions are one of the most substantial contributors to greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and climate change. We see the effect of that every day with increased heatwaves, stronger hurricanes, and frequent tornadoes to name just a few of the changes we are experiencing.
It all adds up. We need to remember that it starts in all of our kitchens. Anything we can do to stop throwing away spoiled food will benefit the earth. It will also help to lower our food costs.
Use your freezer! And let me rephrase my initial sentence: freezing food has not only transformed my experience in the kitchen, but it is making a difference in slowing down climate change. I realize this feels like a small gesture compared to the magnitude of the problem. But imagine if everyone did their part—it wouldn’t be such a small thing anymore.
We can make a difference and need to.
There are so many ways we can participate in reducing our impact on climate change. The more we know the more we can do.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you do that helps the environment? Small or large we'd love to hear.
Leave a comment below.
This is the first of three blog posts on freezing
You might be interested in:
A new way to entertain—it’s a game changer Mar. 2, 2023
What to make for dinner when you don’t want to cook?
What freeing fresh food taught me—that you need to know
My kitchen waste causes global warming
New York Times article 4-21-2023 "The Foods You Should Be Freezing And How Long They Actually Keep"
Le Kitchen Cookbook
Everything you need to know to be a good cook.
by Adeline M. Olmer
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