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Current Position:Home » News » Special Foods » Topic

Are pre-packaged or fresh vegetables better?

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-06-13  Views: 1
Core Tip: As consumers seek more convenience when buying their produce, the popularity of pre-packed vegetables has grown.
As consumers seek more convenience when buying their produce, the popularity of pre-packed vegetables has grown. This growth has sparked the debate on which one is better, fresh or pre-packed.

The main reason consumers buy pre-packed is to save time. Chopping chunks of cabbage and grating carrot can take 10 minutes or more, which is valuable time in a society where time has become a commodity for many. So for time, pre-packaged obviously pulls out in front.

As for cost, a bag of Leaderbrand coleslaw at a Christchurch supermarket retails for $4.49. In comparison, buying vegetables to make a similar coleslaw at the same store comes to $6.60.

Half a red cabbage retails for $4, half a green cabbage is $2.30 and a carrot is roughly 30¢. A tray of vegetables marketed as a soup pack costs $6. To purchase the same vegetables loose is more than $9.

Surprisingly, fresh vegetables cost more than their bagged equivalent, but you do get a larger amount of food for your money. For example when buying the vegetables whole.

Next comes the battle for nutrition, which in the end matters most to many shoppers. Registered nutritionist Bek Parry believes "Whole and as fresh as possible is best."

She says the nutritional value of vegetables depletes when cut. "As soon as a vege is picked it will begin to lose quality. Then once it is cut or shredded the increased surface area exposes more of the vegetable to oxygen – degrading it. The smaller it is diced or shredded the quicker it will wilt or degrade."

"Personally I would recommend whole and then cut it up yourself, for both nutritional value and also waste. Often pre-diced veges come in both plastic trays and then plastic wrapped, which is saved when buying whole veges (normally)."

In summary, for cost and convenience, a bag may be the best choice but according to Bek Parry, if nutrition is your concern, shoppers should stick with fresh.
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