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Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956) was recently honored by being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His innovations are cited as allowing people the convenience and ease of enjoying fruits and vegetables all year round.
Frozen food is big in America; total retail sales of frozen foods in the U.S. reached more than $26.6 billion in 2001, and the frozen dinner and entree category continues to be the largest within the frozen food market with more than $5.9 billion in annual supermarket sales.
But frozen foods are not all created equal. Today's frozen foods market includes countless options, some better than others.
Did Mom always tell you to eat your fruits and vegetables? She was right, because research consistently shows the health benefits. Some kids grow up loving their broccoli, some never develop a taste for vegetables -- their idea of salad always iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 tell us to eat at least two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables daily... and please, don't drink your fruits and vegetables because juice is missing the whole fruit and vegetable's beneficial fiber. Eat a variety of foods. Select at least a few times weekly from all five vegetable subgroups: Deeply colored veggies, such as dark green, orange, legumes, starchy veggies and "other."
But... we're busy! Many Americans have a difficult time including any fresh foods in their daily diet. Grocery shopping and cooking are often sacrificed to commuting and carpooling. Mom's traditional role is so different today; 90 percent of American women work outside the home. Most don't live within walking distance of a grocery store, and in fact, most Americans "live" in their cars. Fewer Americans eat home-cooked meals, most eat fast food at least once a week, and some eat fast food every day. Fewer families have the opportunity to sit down together at the dinner table with fresh food on a consistent basis. What's a good-intentioned dieter to do?
Too busy to cook? You can still lose weight! Let us do the cooking for you and deliver right to your front door! Sign up for eDiets meal delivery (rated #1 by epicurious.com!) and get a FREE GIFT! Click here for more info. Does it have to be fresh?
They tell us to eat more fruits and vegetables, but does it have to be fresh? Is fresh more nutritious than frozen? Do you have to feel guilty if you serve your family frozen vegetables? The good news is frozen fruits and vegetables are fine, and in fact, may be fresher than fresh. The American Frozen Foods Institute points to studies showing that frozen vegetables can have equal, or higher, nutritional value as fresh vegetables. A 1991 study by Dr. Barbara Klein, a professor of food and nutrition at the University of Illinois, found that frozen green beans contain twice as much vitamin C as fresh green beans. After three days in a display case and three days in a refrigerator, (not uncommon for the average consumer), fresh green beans retained less than half the vitamin C content versus frozen: 36 percent versus 77 percent.