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How dependent are we on pre-packed frozen food and self frozen food?


john luke
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A decent meal, (certainly I thought so) but made solely from pre-packed frozen food.  Birds Eye Haddock steaks, Aunt Bessie French Fries and Vegetables courtesy of William Morrisons Supermarkets Limited.

I buy meat/chicken/sausages from a local butcher, fish from a local fish monger and green groceries from a local farm shop and the local market.  However since the last lockdown was announced, I have tried to reduce my shopping expeditions; my supermarket shopping is done now by visiting the supermarket once per fortnight.  I freeze bread straight away and use it from frozen.  I do make stir fry and pasta dishes in the wok, but in the vast majority of cases use frozen vegetables.  Similarly I make home made soup (mainly vegetables with stock cube) in a soup maker but again mainly reliant on frozen vegetables.

The question I pose is how dependent have we become on the freezer?

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Ironically I bought a chest freezer which was delivered 2 hours ago.   I like to buy in bulk and lessen my trips to the shops so buying frozen foods, which have been shown to be as nutritious as fresh food, is good for my health (against exposure to Covid) and for my wallet.

Buying in bulk can save pounds in the long run and will probably pay for the cost of the freezer within a year.

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My freezer is packed to the max. But I keep forgetting to thaw stuff out and also forget what I have in there. I did make up about 8 freezer bags full of home made bolognese sauce, which is handy. But the thing is, I still prefer fresh food and tend to walk to the supermarket every few days and end up buy fresh produce for the next few days. 

It's always a good back up, same as cans of soup, beans and macaroni cheese but I won't be dependent on frozen stuff unless we are not allowed to leave the house. 

Going to the supermarket is the only physical human interaction I have right now apart from my immediate family. Sad really, but there yer go. 

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Probably 50/50 frozen v fresh. Always have something to eat in the freezer, most of my veg is frozen, find I waste less with frozen and for most of the veg you can’t really tell the difference between frozen and fresh, especially things like peas, carrots, corn etc.

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1 hour ago, Sangsom said:

Probably 50/50 frozen v fresh. Always have something to eat in the freezer, most of my veg is frozen, find I waste less with frozen and for most of the veg you can’t really tell the difference between frozen and fresh, especially things like peas, carrots, corn etc.

I'm about the same.

I like to cook but sometimes I can't be arsed so I throw a frozen pizza or fish in the oven.

I don't like or eat TV dinners. Tried them and for the most part I found them inedible. 

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We learn something new every day.  Prior to this thread, I had never heard the expression TV Dinners.  So I suppose there needs to be a distinction between a prepackaged meal consisting of several ingredients and individual ingredients which are packed/frozen.

I never touch the prepackaged composite meals.

 

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6 minutes ago, john luke said:

We learn something new every day.  Prior to this thread, I had never heard the expression TV Dinners.

 

TV dinners were introduced in the States back in the early 1960s if memory serves me correct. They were novel, but never very good. The name was a result of television gaining huge popularity at the time. Grab and tray and a TV dinner and eat a "full meal" while watching TV.

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1 hour ago, jcolorado said:

TV dinners were introduced in the States back in the early 1960s if memory serves me correct. They were novel, but never very good. The name was a result of television gaining huge popularity at the time. Grab and tray and a TV dinner and eat a "full meal" while watching TV.

Yep... as a kid growing up in the 60s Swanson's was a treat!

Just needed a TV tray to go with it...

Vintage-TV-dinners-from-the-1960s.jpg

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8 hours ago, Nightcrawler said:

My freezer is packed to the max. But I keep forgetting to thaw stuff out and also forget what I have in there. I did make up about 8 freezer bags full of home made bolognese sauce, which is handy. But the thing is, I still prefer fresh food and tend to walk to the supermarket every few days and end up buy fresh produce for the next few days. 

It's always a good back up, same as cans of soup, beans and macaroni cheese but I won't be dependent on frozen stuff unless we are not allowed to leave the house. 

Going to the supermarket is the only physical human interaction I have right now apart from my immediate family. Sad really, but there yer go. 

I'm cutting back on frequent trips to the store. Just once every two weeks or so right now. I do have an extra freezer and have been using it a lot. 

Still going to the grocery store? With new virus variants spreading, it’s probably time to stop.
Health experts say you should avoid optional trips whenever you can. You probably need a better mask, too.

https://www.vox.com/22220301/covid-spread-new-strain-variants-safe-grocery-store-n95-masks-vaccine

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Never, ever buy frozen vegetables in Thailand.

Sai grows much of what we eat but not brocolli or cauliflower which is always available 2 minutes away in the village. Everybody is back wearing a mask and I do mean everybody.

There have been very few Covid cases in the Town area (small cluster of Burmese who came over the border and immediately confined) so how am I going to get infected?

I shop virtually every day for both me and the dogs. Might put some of what I buy in the freezer for a couple of days maximum.

Gets me out of the house and I have to wear a mask and get temperature tested in the Robinson's or Tesco's shopping centers and even 7/Elevens all take it seriously up here.

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7 hours ago, dcfc2007 said:

I'm about the same.

I like to cook but sometimes I can't be arsed so I throw a frozen pizza or fish in the oven.

I don't like or eat TV dinners. Tried them and for the most part I found them inedible. 

No idea what you mean by TV dinners, but M&S do some great ready meals high I partake in sometimes....

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Living in the States, most everything I ate at home came out of the freezer first. Here in Thailand the big difference, and one of the big positives for living here, almost everything I eat now is freshly made with ingredients bought every couple of days at the local market.

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I eat a lot of butter, and back in 2019 Makro had an offer on that meant a block of good quality German Ammelander butter was only 80 Baht, compared with its normal price of 115 Baht. I ended up buying 50 blocks and also bought a chest freezer from Lazada to store them in. Fast forward to August 2020 and that butter was finished, and I was back to paying 108 Baht a block in Friendship for Anchor, but they had evidently over-ordered as they reduced the price down to 85 Baht , then to 59 Baht a few weeks later, as the BBE date was the end of September. So I ended up with over 100 blocks of Anchor salted in my chest freezer. Now Siamburi's have a New Zealand butter that they're selling at ridiculously cheap prices, Canary I think it's called, so I've refilled the dent I'd already made in the cheap Anchor from Friendship with that butter. Over the last 18 months or so, the chest freezer has easily paid for itself just in the savings I've been able to make buying bulk butter when it's on special offer.

Of course, I store all sorts of other stuff in the three freezers I've got here in Thailand, it would be impossible to live the kind of culinary lifestyle I do without them. Last year, Sim Expat Food had an offer on NZ beef tenderloin, just 400 Baht for a kilo. NZ fillet steak sells for something like 2,500 Baht/kg in Big C Extra, so I bought six kilos from Siam Expat Foods, cut one up and still have the other two in the chest freezer. As a result, I can fish out a wonderful grass-fed NZ fillet steak any time I want and it only cost me around 100 baht.

I've always brought back plenty of frozen food from the UK: Richmond pork sausages, top quality cold cuts from a deli that I freeze myself, a couple of turkey crowns so that I've got my Christmas dinner already here, and so on. And they prevent wastage, I make a lot of cooked dinners and usually make too much gravy, so I just stick the excess in a tupperware jar and freeze it. Paul Theroux was right in his film, "Mosquito Coast", in the tropics you really do need ice (or a fridge, freezer and aircon unit, lol).

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I lived in a hurricane zone back in the US so folks generally keep about a month of food in the house, so there was always an extra freezer full.  Large dry/canned/jarred goods pantries too. 

Here I got a chest freezer up country, but they're not frost free and that's a pain.  When we moved near the coast I got a 5cu' upright frost free to supplement the 1/3rd of the 22cu' Refrigerator which is frost free freezer.  I also repurposed a wardrobe as a pantry, along with some shelves in exterior storage.

We mostly freeze meat, bread, and pre-frozen stuff like fries/nuggets/etc.  Plus when I make something like Chimichangas, or a big pot of stew/soup I'll freeze the extra for another day.  We do have one bag of mixed vegetables in there, but they're so easy to pick up here we usually use fresh.

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I have a large chest freezer in my garage which stores my fishing bait and I have a very large upright freezer in my kitchen for my food.

Almost all of my food revolves around the freezer.

The current veg mix I use is purchased frozen, proven to be as good, if not better than fresh due to blast freeze techniques used now.

All of my meat is ordered direct from 2 butchers and delivered to my house free of charge as long as I spend enough. I use 2 because the main big butchers sausages are not as good as a little private one locally. All of this meat is separated up into portions and put straight into the freezer.

I was a crap cook, mainly due to past live in girlfrends being great in all the rooms!

Since lock down I have been experimenting with food and trying to at least learn enough to provide a varied and healthy diet. Now I batch cook a few meals either in the Wok or slow cooker and portion it up into those plastic containers and put straight into the freezer. I have found by doing this the flavour is much better than eating straight from the pan. It is then a case of taking the next days meal out of the freezer into the fridge so it can be reheated in the microvave and the rice, pasta or veg can be cooked to accompany it.

The steak and sausages are thrawed and cooked ''fresh'' if you like either under the grill or in the pan.

So to answer the queation, I rely on the freezer masively.

Edited by boydeste
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52 minutes ago, Sangsom said:

You must be an amazing cook then.....

Not really but I can still do better than ready meals that are filled full of MSG, salt and sugar. They are completely tasteless and the meat tastes like rubber.

 

 

 

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I have been getting away from the frozen prepared meals lately.

I have been shopping a lot lately at a mid size Big C not far from my crib. They have some great choices on freshly prepared ready made meals - chicken with rice, baked chicken, various thai dishes, various fish/shrimp entrees. Good variety also. Typically they go for around 30-35 baht. Often they will even have those prices discounted down to around 20 baht. They aren't always big enough to be completely filling, I just add a fresh veggie and/or a salad that is easy to whip up. My average meal usually runs around $2 per meal. Usually fresh and tasty with good variety.

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