In Praise of Frozen Vegetables

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Kim Severson writes about America’s tendency to not eat our vegetables and ends up discussing issues of convenience:

The nation has long had a complicated relationship with vegetables. People know that vegetables can improve health. But they’re a lot of work. In refrigerators all over the country, produce often dies a slow, limp death because life becomes too busy. “The moment you have something fresh you have to schedule your life around using it,” [Harry] Balzer said. […]

Melissa MacBride, a busy Manhattan resident who works for a pharmaceuticals company, would eat more vegetables if they weren’t, in her words, “a pain.”

“An apple you can just grab,” she said. “But what am I going to do, put a piece of kale in my purse?”

I sometimes feel like California-based foodies have produced some kind of mass hallucination around the subject of fresh vegetables. But if you poke around your local supermarket, you’ll find that they have tons and tons of big freezer full of little conveniently portioned bags of vegetables. Just like pizza or egg rolls. But healthier. Is it 100 percent as tasty as farm-fresh locally grown in-season produce? No. But it’s convenient as heck and very very inexpensive. Part of my recent weight loss strategy (down a bit over 60 pounds since the beginning of March) has been to try to adopt microwaving frozen vegetables as a go-to quick meal for one option.

Now of course my suspicion here is that this is just an excuse. My previous go-to quick dinner for one option involved Taylor Gourmet Deli which, being located on the ground floor of my building, is very convenient. But it’s always been less convenient that microwaving some brussel sprouts. The actual issue is that an Italian sub is more delicious. But insofar as people are really getting tripped up by convenience issues, stockpiling frozen vegetables is just about the most convenient thing you can possibly do.