We’ve met a few people who have often told us that they prefer fresh seafood over frozen seafood - a carry-over from a time when frozen sea...

Fresh or Frozen?

6 February 2015

We’ve met a few people who have often told us that they prefer fresh seafood over frozen seafood - a carry-over from a time when frozen seafood rode really low on quality. Today, with improved freezing technology, the reverse is often true. The truth is that seafood when properly frozen is as good as ‘right-out-of-the-ocean’ fresh seafood. This, coupled with the sustainability of frozen seafood, things are getting even better.

Here are 4 reasons why we believe frozen seafood has certain advantages over fresh seafood especially if you're not living on the coast. If the seafood is travelling long distances to you, stick with frozen every time.

Reason 1 – Better for the Environment

You may not have a strong reason to not prefer frozen food unless you live on or by the beach. Seafood often travels great distances to get to its lovers – people like you and me. With dramatic rise in exports to cater to the high demand, a substantial rise in logistics costs is being seen all over the world. Fresh seafood has to be shipped by air freight which leads to carbon emission, causing more harm than good.

Frozen seafood, on the other hand can be shipped via boats, trucks and train that essentially have a lower carbon footprint.  This might seem like a trivial issue on a cursory look but it turns out that the difference in terms of environmental impact is huge between fresh seafood and frozen seafood. In fact, in many cases fresh salmon can have twice the environmental impact of frozen salmon due to having to being air shipped.

National Geographic believes frozen seafood aids in eliminating waste in processing with economies of scale.

Reason 2 – Eliminate Waste at Home

Fresh seafood spoils really quickly so you need to cook it pretty much as soon as you buy it. If you can’t, you end up missing out on some amazing delicacies in addition to seeing your money flushed down the drain. Buying frozen seafood not only allows you to buy better products in a cost effective way but also nullifies waste as you only need to thaw and cook what's required, when you require it.

Reason 3 – Year Round Availability

Frozen seafood ensures a wide variety being available year round. The seafood industry has often stressed on the importance of year-round availability when it comes to frozen seafood. The advancement in technology allows us to employ better freezing methods that helps keep the taste and nutrients intact. This essentially means that you can make yourself a nice dinner several times a year without having to wait for the season.

Reason 4 - Quality

If for no other reason, you should consider frozen seafood for the quality. It is now a known fact that quality seafood, frozen correctly, is as good as fresh seafood. Consumer research has shown that most cannot tell the difference between fresh fish and correctly frozen and thawed seafood.

Seafood is usually processed and frozen within hours of being harvested, sometimes even directly on ship! Seafood, like all meat, starts to spoil very soon after being removed from the water and this process hastens as it more and more exposed to differences in temperature and exposure to air and therefore bacteria.

It is important to understand that the cellular structure of the seafood is protected by quick freezing to temperatures below -24°C. Fresh seafood that you’d find at the fish market tend to go bad at the cellular level. With a 3-5 day time to table, the seafood is not only losing its freshness but also it nutritional value. There are certain varieties of seafood that do not travel well – lobsters immediately come to mind. Correctly frozen lobster provides far better quality at a far better price than live lobsters not transported in water – and that’s a whole new challenge in logistics.

Get the Best (Frozen) Seafood

Note that it is advisable to check for solidly frozen seafood and avoid seafood with freezer burn. Vacuum-sealed fish is highly recommended as it sucks all the air away from fish. Similarly, an ice glaze is a traditional freezing method that uses a layer of ice around the fish to keep the air away. In order to enjoy a good and tasteful meal, make sure you thaw the seafood properly; a classic example of the tortoise winning the race.

Stay tuned for a lot more on frozen seafood and Fishvish. If you feel the need to eat seafood right now (don’t worry, it is a common phenomenon after reading about seafood), simply place your order with www.fishvish.com and have your favourite seafood delivered home.
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