Fresh vs. Frozen and I’m Not Talking CSI

     Fresh, organic, local, hand picked with rich soil still clinging to its roots.  That’s what my produce drawer always contains in my make believe world!  We probably all know that this description of vegetables and fruits (minus the soil) would, indeed, be the best choice for it’s nutritional value and our vital health. But it’s just not realistic that the majority of people have this available or can even afford it if they did.  That’s why my message as a motivational speaker on health and wellness is to help people make the best choices they can when buying groceries at their favorite supermarket.

When it comes to fruits and vegetables it’s important to know that fresh is not always best!  Frozen is many times the better choice because the produce is harvested and shipped immediately to packing plants that prep and freeze-in the nutrients in a matter of hours.  Compare that timeline to some of the produce you see on the shelves with wilted greens and sagging stalks!  These veggies have probably been shipped a great distance, stored a few more days before making it out on the shelf, and then sat some more as customers pick out the luckier ones around them.

What’s true is that the nutrients “leak out” the minute they are plucked from the earth so the faster we can get them from field (or orchard) to plate, the better nutrition for our bodies.

My recommendation is to choose produce that is in season and fresh looking.  Look for radishes with bright greens attached, or celery with perky little leaves.  That way you will always get the best flavor at the best price.  If you question the freshness of anything then head strait to the freezer section where you are assured a nutritionally packed product.

Here are some of my buyer beware pointers:

  • Romaine hearts (the old, wilting outer leaves have been removed.  This is an old head of Romaine they’re selling)
  • Celery hearts (Same strategy as Romaine)
  • Bags of radishes (Often times these are split because they’re old. Best with greens attached)
  • Beets without greens (Same story as radishes, but check for rock hard firmness, these can be used)
  • Bags of lettuce mix (The large leaves torn into small pieces, like romaine and iceberg lettuce varieties. A gas is added to keep the torn edges of the lettuce from browning.  Best to but “baby leaf” lettuce bags where gas doesn’t have to be added because it’s a whole leaf, no torn edges)
  • Broccoli with large, loose buds or slightly yellowing flowerettes (Tight and bright please)
  • Waxed apples (These babies have been in storage for up to 9 months!)

If  you want to get the best nutritional bang for our buck then I hope these pointers will help you on our next trip to the store!

From your Fresh and sometimes Frozen motivational speaker Polly Pitchford



Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Wow! Polly I didn’t know that about waxed apples!  AND – I thought I was being so clever by getting those romaine hearts. Hmmmm. I’ll rethink that one.  I do like to go to our local organic farm, Jessica’s Organic Stand, on Saturdays to insure fresher stuff.  Or good old Whole Foods is always great too!

  2. Polly, thanks for confirming what my mother always told me about frozen vegetables! I’m blessed to be in So CA where there are organic farm stands on almost every corner. A girl gets spoiled. In fact, my youngest is so spoiled and particular about her fruit that she is now responsible for purchasing. Frees me up just to enjoy her choices.

    • How fantastic to have organics so easily available!  That’s such a great “job” for your youngest child.  There is no doubt that he? she? will always be a fruit eater and that’s soo vital to our long term health!!
      Happy crunching! 

  3. Thanks Polly! Living in Michigan, I’ve been quite dismissive of frozen fruits as an option when making my daily Green Smoothies. During the winter, when the fresh fruit I buy is minimally a few days old by the time it gets to my home, it had never dawned on me that frozen fruit might infact be more nutritious. Thanks for the Ah-ha moment!

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