By: Jenny Roe and Cheryl Kollin
Farm to Freezer is thrilled to unveil our new product packaging and labels!
This fall, look for Farm to Freezer brand Tomato Sauce, Ratatouille, Roasted Bell Peppers, Summer Squash, and Applesauce at local independent groceries that feature locally-sourced and produced foods.
Our products are packaged in 16 oz. stand-up clear plastic pouches. While we strive to be as green as possible, our research found that freezer-friendly bio-degradable packaging (typically made of paper, starch, wood pulp, potato, cotton, sugar beet, corn) does not exist for the small producer. In fact, some large frozen food manufacturers designed and patented their own eco-friendly packaging. There’s a real opportunity to create freezer-friendly eco-packaging for small food producers.
We selected stand-up pouches because they have some eco-friendly qualities. There is 12 percent less laminated film than in most other packaging bags. Less material means less waste in manufacturing and also less weight and less fuel used to transport these. We also sought the least amount of packaging needed, yet needed something durable, puncture proof, and water and ice resistant, to hold our food products. These pouches do not require additional liners, cartons, or other containers, thus reducing the consumption of energy needed to produce, transport, store, and dispose of extra packaging. The pouches are recyclable and along with other plastics like grocery bags and milk cartons are ground up together and made into plastic park benches, toys, car bumpers, parking lot stops etc.
Each package label includes a QR code that you can scan for recipe suggestions and to learn more about Farm to Freezer’s mission to tackle the dual problems of hunger and food waste.
So, what’s in those pouch bags? All of our products are made from locally-sourced (Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania) vegetables and fruit. Much of our produce is either organically grown or grown using sustainable practices, even if the farmers have chosen not to go through the time and expense of obtaining USDA organic certification.
Farm to Freezer Tomato Sauce is not your usual tomato pasta sauce but it is filled with other healthy vegetables including: zucchini, onions, bell pepper, and spiced with herbs, garlic, and a pinch of balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, and salt and pepper. The Ratatouille is made with eggplant, sweet bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and spiced with dill. Our roasted bell peppers, summer squash, and apple sauce have no added ingredients.
These frozen veggies and sauces are delicious, simple, and healthy. They are perfect to add to a stew, pasta, rice, or soup. You may be wondering why freeze our products instead of canning them? Customers told us that they preferred our frozen sauce over their jarred sauce because it has a fresher taste.
As the season turns to autumn, farmers markets will start selling a huge assortment of apples, which means there will be a surplus every weekend. Farm to Freezer will soon start processing these apples into delicious applesauce and then freeze it in order to keep its flavor for you to enjoy in the winter months.
So be on the look-out for our products this fall. Taste the freshness of farmers market summer produce all year round and help us continue to fight hunger relief in our community. Interested in helping us prepare, cook, and freeze these delicious products? Sign-up as a Manna volunteer to help in the kitchen here! We will be in the kitchen until the last of this season’s harvest.