FRESH OR FROZEN?
WRITTEN BY: VERONICA MONROY
A lot of consumers question the quality of frozen seafood, and might even believe it to be of lesser quality. It’s been engraved into our subconscious for years: fresh is better than frozen. Well, that’s not always the case, at least not when it comes to seafood. The fish you see in grocery store displays over a bed of ice, is considered “fresh.” However, often times the fish have been “refreshed.” This means the product was frozen after being harvested and then thawed out prior to being put on display.
According to FishWatch, more than 80% of the seafood we consume in the US is actually imported from other countries. It’d be not only difficult, but extremely costly to keep that fish completely fresh during the importation process without freezing it first.
Frozen seafood, whether wild or farmed, is frozen soon after being harvested and processed. It is then packaged in vacuum-packed bags, and finally shipped out to your local grocery store. The product stays frozen every step of the way. The process of quickly freezing and vacuum packing the fish, helps maintain its quality as high as possible.
One of the benefits of choosing frozen vs fresh, is the shelf life of the product. As long as the fish remains inside the vacuum-packed bag, it can last in your freezer for up to two years. It is also less expensive than its fresh counterpart.
Pro Tip: If you’re thinking of purchasing frozen fish, make sure it’s been vacuum sealed or vacuum packed. Additionally, freezer burn or crystallization often indicates the fish has been frozen, thawed, and then re-frozen, which definitely compromises its quality.