What exactly is FRESH?
To the argument that “fresh is always best” and that anything that lasts for 25 years can’t possibly be good for you:
First of all, let me say that I commend that health conscious way of thinking. Normally a 25 year shelf life should solicit images of cardboard. Welcome to the 21st Century. Freeze drying foods (thank-you space industry) has added a whole new dynamic to the science of long term food storage, and also to the quality of the food we eat every day.
I would never want to give the impression that I believe THRIVE Freeze Dried foods should replace ‘fresh’ produce. Surely ‘fresh’ is a wonderful thing. Eating fresh strawberries or raspberries out of your garden, or an apple picked right from the tree in your backyard – are some of life’s little pleasures. Above my kitchen door – leading out into my back yard is the quote, “It is difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a home grown tomato.” And I believe it.
Fresh is best when it really IS “Fresh”. But I challenge anyone to even know when the produce you buy from the grocery store was picked. Everyone knows that nutritional value begins to deplete from the very hour of harvest, but did you know that the method of freeze drying (flash freezing to a temperature of 60 below zero and then removing whatever moisture remains) preserves not only the beautiful color the rich flavor and as much as possible the original texture, BUT also the nutritional value better than any other way of preserving food? That is an undisputed fact.
Another fact is that Shelf Reliance flash freezes their produce inside of 48 hours (usually within 2 or 3 hours) of harvest. In this frozen state the food is transferred to a facility where it can complete the freeze-drying process. This ensures that the nutrients stay stable. The extended shelf life of 25 years is not because of additives or preservatives, it IS because – having all the moisture so quickly and successfully removed, there literally is no way for the food to decompose. That's just science.
Fresh is NOT always better, unless you are buying from a farmers market or picking it right out of your garden, and if it doesn’t stay in your fridge for a week or two. In Canada, you will be picking peas for about three weeks a year, same with beans, and many other assorted vegetables. You may be able to eat out of your garden for up to four months if you plan well and have a great garden, but you won't have a large variety during that time, with things ripening in their own season. Even if one is fortunate enough to be eating out of one’s garden or buying fresh produce from a local Farmers Market, one still has eight other months to eat. Where is that food coming from? When was it picked? And what process of keeping it ‘fresh’ was employed in its transition from field to table? Although there is nothing in the world more wonderful than a fresh crisp apple, when you eat an apple in May, you KNOW that apple was picked last August.
How can you have the same nutritional expectations out of it in May that you would have had in September? It isn't reasonable. However, when you open a can of FD Fuji apples in May, you can be assured that they are as full of their natural goodness as they were the day they were sealed in that can. Thirteen years from now you can be confident of the same thing. And once they're opened, you can have that same assurance for many more months, WITHOUT depending on a fridge.
The other wonderful aspect about the nutritional value of THRIVE Freeze Dried foods is that they are virtually additive FREE. When you look at the list of ingredients on a can of Freeze Dried Broccoli for instance, you are shocked to see “ Broccoli” alone. The ingredient list on a can of Freeze Dried Raspberries is “Raspberries” alone. And so it goes. No salt. No sugar. No artificial colour. No flavour enhancer. No preservatives. Absolutely shocking in our additive laced world where long shelf life usually implies the heavy and free use of chemicals. There are some necessary exceptions of course like the natural additive of ascorbic and/or citric acid to preserve the beautiful white colour of apples and bananas, but one would expect that. Above all, the consumer can have confidence in the high quality and natural integrity – and ‘freshness’ of all THRIVE Freeze Dried foods.
It should be noted here that optimal storage conditions are important to any long term food storage and freeze dried food is no exception. Care should be taken to keep all Freeze Dried foods from drastic changes in temperature, and once opened a good seal on the can is important as you want to prevent the food from absorbing moisture from the air. Once a can has been opened, the food still has a shelf life of 12 – 24 months (as indicated on each individual can label).
When one says FRESH IS BETTER, one should define FRESH.
We are not picking mangoes off the tree in our backyard in this country. "Fresh" is a relative word.