Freeze Dried Food - Bad for the environment?
There are many hidden food miles, chemicals, packaging and other nasty issues in our everyday food. It is nearly impossible to find out exactly where it has been, and how many processes it has been through to arrive in our own kitchens, therefore we can't be held entirely responsible. But armed with the facts, we can make the right choices.
One process that really grates on me is freeze-drying. Think instant coffee, powdered milk, dried fruit (in those expensive cereals), even your goldfish flakes! Freeze-drying is a wonderous invention that removes moisture, making the product light, long-lasting and easy to transport.
The problem is the large amounts of energy used in the process. First, the product is frozen at at least -50 degrees centigrade, using liquid nitrogen or methanol (yum), then the water molecules are sucked out in a low-pressure vacuum, sometimes over several DAYS, before heat and pressure are gradually introduced.
Expensive? Yes. In both monetary and environmental terms.