Nothing is worse than gnawing hunger forcing you to dig deep into your pantry, fridge, and freezer between grocery trips. When cans of beans, old leftovers, and a bag of frozen peas don't sound appealing, sometimes I find myself elbow deep in my freezer, desperately trying to find something suitable.

I hate it when I finally find something appetizing, only to open it up to see clusters of little ice crystals covering every inch of its surface.

It definitely doesn't look appetizing, but is freezer burn safe to eat?

In short, yes. Freezer burn develops for two reasons, the first is improper storage, and the second is simply time. When you freeze something, all of the tiny water particles that make up the food turn to ice.

The ice molecules prefer to live in the coldest part of your freezer, so when your food isn't stored properly and oxygen is allowed to touch the food, the ice molecules escape and settle on the surface.

This basically draws all of the moisture out of your food, so while it's technically safe, the dried out result isn't very tasty. 

To prevent freezer burn, make sure to: 

1. Wrap your food as tightly as possible, any air left in the packaging will cause freezer burn. 

2. Allow food to cool before freezing, freezing food while hot will create steam, which will turn into ice crystals. 

3. Use proper storage materials such as freezer-safe plastic or glass, or use freezer paper

4. Keep your freezer at a temperature around 0 degrees, and don't stuff too many things inside, as that can raise the temperature. 

5. Again, don't leave food in there too long. While improper storage causes freezer burn fast, eventually everything will succumb to a dry and icy fate. 

So these tips are top notch, but if the icy hand of time has already claimed your food... 

1. Don't microwave it. Microwaving heats the water particles inside your food, which at this point, are covering the surface. This will dry it out even further, make it rubbery, etc. 

2. If only a small part is freezer burned, cut it off. 

3. The whole thing is ruined, huh? Well, in that case, I recommend covering it with some sort of sauce, to distract from the dried out taste and to attempt adding moisture back to the dish. 

Now that you know all about freezing food, go prep your meals for the week! Just be sure to store everything properly, but if you forget to, remember that freezer burn is safe!