Are Frozen Meals Bad for You?

A frozen emoji

We get it. You're tired, you don't have a lot of food in the house, but you don't want to go shopping. So you think "Hey, I'll just make a frozen meal." But you remember a friend telling you that frozen meals aren't good for you, so you wonder if you're doing something bad to your body every time you toss a frozen meal into the microwave to eat in front of your TV while watching Law & Order.

The fact is that there is a lot of misinformation going around about frozen meals. Are they healthy, or aren't they? Do they lead to cancer? What are the risks involved with microwaving a frozen meal and eating it?

Well, buckle up buckaroos. We're going to do our best to answer the big question: Are frozen meals bad for you?

When Did Frozen Meals Become Popular?

Frozen meals became popular in the 1950s with the introduction of TV dinners by Swanson. These precooked, frozen meals were originally designed to be eaten in front of the television (thus the name). The first TV dinner consisted of a Thanksgiving feast of turkey, cornbread dressing, and peas. It cost 98 cents and came in its own aluminum tray that could be placed directly into the oven to heat up.

Since then, TV dinners have evolved. Now, there are all sorts of frozen meals available, from pizza to chicken pot pie. And you don't even need a TV to enjoy them. You can eat them at your desk, in your car, or on the subway.

Frozen Meals Today

Frozen meals have come a long way since Swanson first introduced TV dinners in the 1950s. Now, there are all sorts of frozen meals available. Just go to any grocery store, and you’ll notice entire freezer aisles dedicated to Boston Market frozen meatloaf, or MorningStar vegetarian chicken sandwiches.

Frozen meals are also more convenient than ever before. In the past, you had to heat up a frozen meal in the oven, which could take upwards of an hour. Now, thanks to microwaveable frozen meals, you can have a hot meal in just minutes.

In a way, today’s frozen meals are a reflection of our culture’s dedication towards reducing the time we spend on important, but not profitable, things like eating, sleeping, and all that other stuff. But that’s probably a topic for another blog.

Are Frozen Meals Bad for You?

The short answer is no, frozen meals are not bad for you. In fact, they can be a healthy and convenient option when you're short on time or don't have access to fresh ingredients.

Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions. If you have a medical condition that requires you to avoid certain foods, then you'll want to check the ingredients list on any frozen meal before you eat it. And if you're watching your weight, you may want to opt for a frozen meal that's lower in calories and fat.

But in general, frozen meals are safe to eat and can be part of a healthy diet. Just be sure to check the nutrition facts label to make sure you're getting a meal that fits your needs.

Do Frozen Meals Cause Cancer?

There is no evidence to suggest that frozen meals cause cancer. In fact, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, there is no link between cancer and any type of food that has been frozen.

So if you're worried about getting cancer from eating frozen food, you can rest assured that it's not going to happen.

Do Frozen Meals Contain Unhealthy Chemicals?

Frozen meals do not contain unhealthy chemicals. In fact, they are regulated by the FDA and must meet strict standards in order to be sold in the United States.

For example, frozen meals are not allowed to contain more than 50 parts per million of epichlorohydrin, which is a chemical used to prevent bacteria growth. They are also required to be free of Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to cancer.

Do Frozen Meals Have Less Nutrients than Fresh Meals?

Frozen meal icon

Frozen meals are not necessarily less nutritious than fresh meals. In fact, many frozen foods are actually more nutritious than their fresh counterparts because they are flash-frozen at the peak of freshness. This means that they retain more vitamins and minerals than food that is allowed to sit out for long periods of time.

Of course, the nutritional content of a frozen meal will depend on the specific ingredients used. So be sure to check the nutrition facts label to see what nutrients are in each serving.

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