Despite the popular perception that fruits and vegetables are more costly than less healthy food, new research finds that produce is generally more affordable.
Our friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest studied 20 snack and 19 side dish options, finding that the average price per serving of fruits and vegetable snacks was 34 cents, while unhealthy snacks cost 67 cents. For side dishes, fruits and veggies cost 27 cents, while less healthy options came in at 31 cents.
“The notion that healthy fruits and vegetables are expensive and that packaged snacks are cheaper is an urban myth that deserves to be put out to pasture once and for all,” said Margo Wootan, CSPI’s director of nutrition policy, in a press release. “Very few Americans are actually eating recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables — and most of us would do well to consume fewer convenience foods and snacks, which are often higher in calories, salt and sugars.”
Fruits and vegetables aren’t just good for people’s wallets, of course — produce is also good for their health, and most Americans do not consume the recommended daily amounts, which reach two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables daily.
Wootan noted that while it seems like a lot, it’s actually “easier than you think.”
“Eating a half cup of blueberries with yogurt and a half cup of orange juice at breakfast, a large apple as a snack, a half cup of baby carrots with lunch and a larger sweet potato and a cup of broccoli at dinner will get you there,” she said.
A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that people can purchase the recommended amount for $2.00 to $2.50 a day.
Click here to read Healthy Bargains: Fruits and Vegetables are Nutritious and Economical.