Sadie Gildone, RD, RDN
One of the main reasons Whole Story Meals is unique and unlike any other product is that the majority of the ingredients have not been cooked or heat-treated. We choose to use cold processed and raw foods to maximize the nutrients in our meals. Cooking or heat-treating foods can destroy protective substances like phytonutrients and vitamin C that are sensitive to heat and water soluble. (1) While there are a few fruits and vegetables whose antioxidant bioavailability can increase with cooking, such as lycopene in tomatoes, the fruits and vegetables in our meals are processed to retain critical nutrients.
The preferred method of processing to create high quality food powders is freeze drying. In this process, a frozen food is placed under a vacuum to remove water and other solvents, which allows the ice to change from a solid to a vapor without entering the liquid phase. This method is ideal for long term preservation of the chemical and biological structure of a food. (2) The low temperatures involved in this process result in maximum nutrient retention. (3) This allows us to create convenient, shelf stable meals that are also nutrient dense.
The benefits of including fruits and vegetables in our daily diets are well known, and include reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. In fact, raw vegetables appear to have an advantage over cooked vegetables when it comes to protection against cancer. In a comprehensive literature review, researchers from Columbia University and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center discussed reasons why raw vegetables are favored. They concluded that cooking vegetables not only decreases protective substances present in vegetables, but also disables the enzymes responsible for converting certain phytochemicals to active forms that have powerful anticancer effects. Heat treatment may also reduce insoluble fiber, decreasing the foods’ ability to bind to cancer-causing substances. Lastly, they found that cooking foods at high temperatures can cause the formation of compounds that damage DNA. (4)
Whole fruits and vegetables are the key ingredients in our meals. We ensure they retain the most nutrients possible to maximize the benefits of consuming Whole Story Meals.
Davis B, Melina, V. (2015) Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition. Book Publishing Company.
Hilgedick, A. (2020, February 25) Introduction to Freeze Drying. Labconco. Retrieved September 29,2021, from https://www.labconco.com/.
Da Bhatta S, Stevanovic Janezic T, Ratti C. Freeze-Drying of Plant-Based Foods. Foods. 2020;9(1):87. Published 2020 Jan 13. doi:10.3390/foods9010087
Link LB, Potter JD. Raw versus cooked vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004; (13(9): 1422-35.Review.