Federal dietary guidance advises Americans to consume more vegetables and fruits because most Americans do not consume the recommended quantities or variety. Food prices, along with taste, convenience, income, and awareness of the link between diet and health, shape food choices.
This research updates previous estimates of vegetable and fruit prices, and estimates the cost of satisfying recommendations for adult vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
An adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption (amounts and variety) at an average cost of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.
The lowest average price for any of the 59 fresh and processed fruits included in the study was for fresh watermelon, at 17 cents per edible cup equivalent. The highest average price was for fresh raspberries, at $2.06 per edible cup equivalent.
The lowest average price for any of the 94 fresh and processed vegetables included in the study was for dry pinto beans, at 13 cents per edible cup equivalent. The highest average price was for frozen asparagus cuts and tips, at $2.07 per edible cup equivalent.