Myth: Processed foods are not as nutritious as fresh foods.

Fact: Many processed foods are just as nutritious or in some cases even more nutritious than fresh foods depending on the manner in which they are processed.

Frozen vegetables are usually processed within hours of harvest. There is little nutrient loss in the freezing process so frozen vegetables retain their high vitamin and mineral content. In contrast, fresh vegetables are picked and transported to market. It can take days or even weeks before they reach the dinner table and vitamins are gradually lost over time no matter how carefully the vegetables are transported and stored.

Some processed foods, such as breads and breakfast cereals, have vitamins and minerals added for extra nutrition. In fact, the growing interest in health and nutrition has spurred the production of a whole new range of foods with added health and nutritional benefits (called "functional foods") such as fat spreads with added fibre to lower cholesterol.

Processing can also make some nutrients more available. For example, removing phytic acid from grain foods by removing the bran helps to improve the absorption of iron from a food. Processing tomatoes into a tomato paste or sauce increases the amount of lycopene (an antioxidant) that is available to the body.