For years determining factors in the choice between canned and frozen vegetables were personal preference and the availability of a freezer. Fresh vegetables are ideal and plentiful in the UAE's many markets and corner stores, but every cook needs a backup and frozen becomes an obvious choice when the environment and personal health are also considered. The process of canning has been estimated to use eight to 10 times more energy than freezing and, although the plastic bags involved in packaging frozen foods are not good for the environment, they are also less bulky and cheaper to transport than cans. Frozen vegetables are usually only blanched, while canned versions are cooked completely. So not only do frozen vegetables and fruits taste and look better, and require less energy to produce, they also retain more health benefits than their canned counterparts. Frozen vegetables can also be consumed in portions, unlike tins, so there is less waste in the household.
And here's a biggie: most cans are lined with plastic containing Bisphenol A, or BPA, which can leach out into their contents. BPA is being linked in a growing number of studies to a variety of health issues, including premature puberty and cancer. Although it remains in most tins, BPA has already been banned in plastic products in Canada and some US states and is under review by the European Food Safety Authority.