Don’t Stand By While Fruit Suffers: An Open Letter to the Frozen Fruit Industry and IQF Companies

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To Whom it May Concern:

The nutrition community and those committed to healthy eating are increasingly aware of the current enthusiasm for frozen fruit. Recently, in the “Science of Living a Healthy Life” issue of The New York Times Magazine, an ad touted the frozen obsession by stating that “Mother Nature put wild blueberries on earth to be frozen.” The loud voices and pretty pictures disseminated by these “pro-fro” conspirators are glossing over the facts, leaving consumers to accept tactics reminiscent of the Great Dairy Refrigeration Deception of 1922. Today, common ethics have guided our decision to be vocal on this controversial issue.  We urge consumers to consider the thoughtless inhumanity that quick freezing advances, and ask those in the frozen fruit industry to take a moment to weigh the desire to selfishly preserve taste and nutrition for our own convenience with its effect on defenseless fruits.

People didn’t always know what we know today – that wild blueberries are sensitive and unique and deserve respect, not the inhumanity of being picked and frozen. Some consumers may still be unaware that wild blueberries can live to be more than several weeks (one, recently discovered in a college dormitory, was determined to be over 5 months old), dying natural deaths by simply decaying, drying up or souring into mush. Without freezing, fruits and vegetables are able to live out their life span – they are free to languish into old age and are often eaten only when they have experienced an acceptable time of decomposition off of the bush. This is the way it has been since the beginning of time, before the introduction of the evils of individually quick freezing (IQF), and it should continue to be.

We also know that wild blueberries remember past acquaintances, and even engage in elaborate courtship rituals: they have been seen joining stems while one helps guide another along the winnowing belt. We realize blueberries actually have memories and can recall time spent in the field. They also possess sophisticated social structures: berries that remain a red or pink color often gather together as if in mutual support of one another. In fact, scientists that have devoted their lives to researching the berry say blueberries have the reasoning capacity of small children.

Only researchers who are funded by the IQF industry disagree with the assertion that fruits and veggies feel pain. These small, defenseless foods suffer when they are taken from the field and spiraled or tunneled and then blasted in a flash freezing device and subjected to unconscionable cryogenic temperatures that at worse, are terribly painful (though brief) and at best, just humiliating. Wild blueberries that are harvested at their peak thrash wildly trying to escape the harvester, and often spin incessantly in a state of confusion. In the journal Ursatt’s Science, researcher Tara Biulle described this method of freezing blueberries as “unnecessary torture.”

Further, today’s quick freezing method avoids cellular damage and prevents the formation of ice crystals on the fruit, and as a result, all the nutritional value of fresh is preserved while the fruit itself remains undamaged. This fact has been used by the pro-fro factions to convince the public that freezing is not harmful. This is not true. In reality, we know that in a time when quick freezing has become ubiquitous, wild blueberries that are pulled from their natural homes can sense imminent danger and experience several agonizing seconds of panic and dread. In short, freezing regularly condemns countless fruits and vegetables such as wild blueberries, mangoes, strawberries, even baby carrots to painful deaths.

We in the nutrition community urge all consumers to allow wild blueberries and all fruits and veggies to die either on the vine or on the shelf at room temperature, taking their nutritive value with them. That is what Mother Nature intended. In addition, we urge all compassionate consumers to walk by the frozen fruit in their grocery store, and instead, opt for foods that do not suffer outside its glass doors, such as pizzas or jalapeño poppers. Consider the dark lives these fruits and veggies lead before they reach us, and for the sake of wild blueberries and their brethren, please join us in declaring, “Freezing is for the cold hearted – not for me.”

Thank you for your time and consideration,
The Wild About Health Community

Thanks to PETA for providing us with the inspiration to speak out on this subject.