Who is the polar camel?
The Polar Camel loves to eat, create, explore, run and laugh, cares about her family and wants to have a positive impact on her environment. She’s struggled with imbalances, food allergies, intolerances, injuries, inflammation. She’s been through diets, she’s done all sorts of tests, taken supplements, protein shakes, so-called superfoods, only to find a healthier self in a balanced approach to health and nutrition. She’s not against supplements, she just wants the right ones at the right times.
The Polar Camel is mindful about her food and aims to contribute to raising awareness on nutrition quality. She reads ingredient lists and labels, does her due diligence on processes, and strives to understand where her food comes from and what quality means – as, believe it or not, there are different approaches to this term!
She sees quality in food that has not been affected by artificial or chemical treatments – pesticides, injected substances, added colors, flavours, thickeners, stabilisers, preservatives etc., as well as refining treatments that take away from food. She sees quality in food that is not flying thousands of miles all year long. She sees quality in food that is not requiring a surprising amount of natural resources, or impacting living and social environments, especially when there are more sustainable alternatives.
She believes quality fresh food is the best, home-made or from trusted sources, and she strives to eat as much of it as possible. For the times this is not an option, her second-best choice is not fresh junk food! She prefers well preserved quality food, either frozen or freeze-dried, with nothing added or taken away.
Many things happen to what we eat, many things are added that will not always serve us, and many things that could have served us disappear. We, as consumers, can gather the knowledge to understand what we eat and make decisions that support our health and our environment. We have the power to vote with our forks and to influence the food industry for our wellbeing and future. The Polar Camel wants to serve and accompany people who care about food and health.
And yes, she’s a female camel (rather, two!), a parent, a spouse, a daughter, a food/health/fitness buff, trained in engineering, architecture, food architecture, nutrition, holistic health, food safety, and learning every day.
Freeze-drying is a cold process that consists in freezing and dehydrating by creating a vacuum, without heat, unlike other dehydrating processes. Nutrients & flavours are retained for a long time, without the need for preservatives or additives. Considered discovered by the Peruvian Incas who were letting potatoes freeze at night and removing their water content by stomping them with their bare feet, the technology was really developed in the twentieth century as a way to preserve medicine drugs, in particular from WWII for blood plasma and penicillin, and food for astronauts. No more bare foot involved!
Instant coffee, rehydratable food for trekking, emergency rations, tiny packs with plain fruits, vaccines, pharmaceutical drugs, chances are high you have tried freeze-dried products already.
What happens now when food is freeze-dried is that it is first frozen, and then a vacuum is created by lowering the pressure (a lot, think space vacuum!), which transforms the water from a solid state in the frozen food directly to a vapor state without going through a liquid one. Imagine an ice cube vaporized without seeing water. This is called sublimation. A cool name to describe the mere change in a physical state, as this is not a chemical reaction!
Compared to other dehydration techniques, this one does not involve heat, which can have a destructive impact on some nutrients and compounds, even relatively low temperature dehydration techniques used in raw food preparation. For example, vitamin C is very sensitive to processes, and we have confirmed ourselves through lab tests that while it totally disappeared from cooked and dehydrated samples, vitamin C was perfectly preserved with freeze-drying.