Why has the freezer become a food graveyard for younger cooks?

A freezer Image copyright Thinkstock

Young shoppers do not like eating food that is stored in the freezer, a survey has found. Why is it so unpopular, asks Luke Jones.

Those younger than 34 were twice as likely to say they did not like eating food from the freezer as those over 35, according to the survey.

Freezer cookbooks were once a must-have kitchen item, but for younger cooks the freezer is a "graveyard" where bad and forgotten meals sit and frost over. Meat that is about to go off, unwanted food from relatives and emergency last resort meals are its only stock.

"When you're young you keep vodka and ice cubes in your freezer," says Esther Walker, a food blogger. "Maybe fish fingers for an absolute emergency. Cooking and saving it is something you do when you have a surplus. Young people just don't have that issue."

Cassie Best, from BBC Good Food Magazine, suggests the wide availability of ready meals means the young and busy do not bother with planning ahead or cooking a big batch to freeze.

"My grandparents are so savvy with their food," she says. "They would value every last bit. But now you can get a pizza for a couple of quid."

The survey found that both young and old are still buying frozen food which, despite the horsemeat scandal with frozen lasagnes, has seen a resurgence. But younger shoppers are far less likely to freeze their own cooking.

Is this because of a fear of the freezer? "The whole defrosting issue puts people off," says Best. "They are worried they might poison themselves if it is not cooked through."

But guides and rules on freezing food can easily be found online. Walker suggests "any reasonably intelligent person knows you will be fine as long as you defrost things properly and cook it through".

Younger people just have no need, she says. When you have a family to feed, then the "freezer is your friend".

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