High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

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Caduceus
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High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Caduceus » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:58 am

I did an experiment for January and tried to radically raise my intake of fruits and vegetables to 7 - 9 servings a day. Everyday, I eat one 10 oz box of raw organic vegetables (arugula, kale, spinach), which costs $6. This is the only way I am thinking I can keep up this routine, as I don't want to cook, and I like raw vegetables more than cooked ones anyway.

I also eat a mixture of fruits, which averages out to be $9 a day. Some fruits I buy conventional (like bananas, mangos, kiwis, avocados and olives). Some fruits I buy organic (like blueberries, blackberries and grapes).

That is for a total cost of $15 a day, and $450 a month. Is that just how much it would take to eat 9 servings of vegetables/fruits a day? How do people do it?

cheesepep
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by cheesepep » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:02 am

I usually do not eat any fruit. An occasional banana, orange, or watermelon when is seasonal is ok, but not that often. I do, however, eat lots of vegetables and vegetables are cheap (I don't buy into that organic ordeal, and I wash my veggies well). Very nice vegetables at my local grocers are almost always less than a dollar a pound and many times, well below that number.

livesoft
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:07 am

I buy a 10 oz bag of raw baby spinach which costs about $2 to $2.50. This bag helps make about 8 salads when combined with other ingredients. For instance each salad takes a single Roma tomato (between $0.50 and $1.00 a pound, or about 10 to 20 cents each), some carrots, craisins, walnuts, a sliced mushroom. That's probably 4 servings of fruits & veggies right there. The cost is about $1 a salad and no cooking.

See
viewtopic.php?p=1009146#p1009146
and
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 2#p2124332 (note cherry tomatoes are too expensive, switched to a Roma tomato)

I'd say portion control might be the problem.
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chessmannextmove
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by chessmannextmove » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:16 am

That seems expensive when compared to food that comes from subsidised farms. But that sounds right for organic fruits and vegetables.

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Hayden
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Hayden » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:17 am

I just signed up for CSA. I will get a big box of vegetables (more than I can eat) each week for 16 weeks. Total cost (upfront) is $475. I believe in eating large quantities of vegetables, so I'm hoping this works well for me.

stan1
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:24 am

You could look for lower priced sources, sounds like you might be buying from Whole Foods or similar. Even if you live in a VHCOL area like NYC or SF there are local ethnic, discount, or farmer direct sources that should be cheaper (albeit maybe less convenient).

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VictoriaF
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:27 am

Caduceus wrote:I did an experiment for January and tried to radically raise my intake of fruits and vegetables to 7 - 9 servings a day. Everyday, I eat one 10 oz box of raw organic vegetables (arugula, kale, spinach), which costs $6.
At Costco, a 1-lb package of a ready-to-eat Organic Spring Mix costs $4.59. At my local Safeway, 1-lb packages of ready-to-eat Organic Arugula, Baby Kale and Spring Mix are at a "permanent discount," selling for $5. These salads are economical, healthy and require no preparation effort.

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fposte
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by fposte » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:29 am

So it sounds like you're buying a fair bit of out of season produce, and you're paying an organic premium on top of that. That's going to bump up your expense right there.

When you say a "box" of organic vegetables, what do you mean? Are these pre-packed rather than bought in bulk? That'll add more to the price as well.

Buy in bulk, buy in season--which means you'll eat different things at different times of the year--and consider letting go of the organic. The CSA idea is a good way to do that, if there's one near you.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by rayout » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:31 am

If your goal is to maximize nutrient intake, consider adding organ meats and home made broth, both of which have extremely high nutrient densities.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Sheepdog » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:39 am

I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables....especially a lot of fruit over the day for snacks...always have. I find that Aldi's fresh fruit, vegetables, and packaged salads are much lower cost than most other stores....including supposedly low cost Walmart and Sams (not on fresh stuff). I don't buy organic, though.
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GoldenFinch
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:41 am

My family (excluding me) consumes what I consider to be shocking amounts of fruits and vegetables and it costs a fortune. My husband says it's worth it and I can't really argue with him. One teenage son eats three bananas everyday and will eat the broccoli I buy for a family of six FOR A SNACK.

I buy 90% of groceries at a farmer''s market and my husband buys organic frozen fruits and veggies at a wholesale club. It is still a rediculos amount of money. Husband and kids make giant vegetable/fruit smoothies every day. At least they aren't eating junk food. It's possible that investing in fruits and veggies now reduces healthcare costs in the future. :D But, who knows? Maybe we will just be broke. :shock:

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dodecahedron
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:48 am

My local supermarket (Shoprite) regularly has three pounds of apples for $2.99. I'd guess there are about 10 apples in the bag, so that is 30 cents a serving. Trader Joe's has bananas at 19 cent each. Other fruits I buy fresh only if they are in season/on sale; during winter most fruit I eat is frozen. (Thaw and mix into plain yogurt or blend into smoothies.) Dole banana dippers (covered in dark chocolate) are my splurge. I stock up during sales but at regular price they are 66 cents per serving. Also, chocolate counts as a fruit. :twisted:

Veggies: I use a lot of the boxed/bagged prewashed organic arugula and kale which are $2.99 to $3.99 for 10 oz (depending on whether they are on sale or not). Tha t is maybe 60 cents a serving. Also large bags of rainbow/broccoli cole slaw (cheap and easy way to get variety.) And large bags of small colored peppers in discount bulk produce section. Onions and sweet potatoes are cheap too. I splurge on organic avocados (they work out of 75 cents per generous half avocado serving.) Six minicucumbers are $2.99, so 50 cents a serving there.

So I would guess I am easily getting my 10 servings of fruit/veggies a day for under $5/day. And it's delicious and makes me feel good=priceless! And those are winter prices. Summer is even cheaper, thanks to farmer's markets and seasonal produce prices.

Other inexpensive and useful sources of vegetables which I rarely use but may appeal to you include canned tomatoes or tomato sauce, canned beans. Or, of course, you could cook dry beans. (Super cheap)

livesoft
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:51 am

Many folks eat way too much, so a lot of what goes in the mouth comes out the other end without really helping you. I suggest you adjust your food intake lower and lower until you achieve the weight you want, then add back calories slowly until you maintain the weight you want. You might be surprised how little food you actually need. If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas and water. Obviously, this is not medical advice.

Fruit smoothies are considered junk food by many. And there is no reason to pay extra for organic whatever that means.
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dodecahedron
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:52 am

GoldenFinch wrote:My family (excluding me) consumes what I consider to be shocking amounts of fruits and vegetables and it costs a fortune. My husband says it's worth it and I can't really argue with him. One teenage son eats three bananas everyday and will eat the broccoli I buy for a family of six FOR A SNACK.

I buy 90% of groceries at a farmer''s market and my husband buys organic frozen fruits and veggies at a wholesale club. It is still a rediculos amount of money. Husband and kids make giant vegetable/fruit smoothies every day. At least they aren't eating junk food. It's possible that investing in fruits and veggies now reduces healthcare costs in the future. :D But, who knows? Maybe we will just be broke. :shock:
I am with your husband. It is awesome that your kids are eating so healthy. Excellent investment in their future health and happiness. You could feed your kids a lot more cheaply (measured in terms of cost per calorie) if they ate chips and soda instead of broccoli and bananas, but that's not the way I'd want to save money.

It is good you are buying at farmer's market and wholesale club. To cut costs further, maybe your kids would be interested in getting involved with a 4-H club and growing some of their own produce?

vrjcgFam
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by vrjcgFam » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:53 am

Try something like Square foot gardening. Although no luck with fruits. But veggies are easy to grow. Usually you end up giving away to family and friends . The quality is soooo much better.

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Kenkat
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Kenkat » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:59 am

fposte wrote:So it sounds like you're buying a fair bit of out of season produce, and you're paying an organic premium on top of that. That's going to bump up your expense right there.

When you say a "box" of organic vegetables, what do you mean? Are these pre-packed rather than bought in bulk? That'll add more to the price as well.

Buy in bulk, buy in season--which means you'll eat different things at different times of the year--and consider letting go of the organic. The CSA idea is a good way to do that, if there's one near you.
I agree that we have become wonderfully spoiled in some ways because we can now get any fruit or vegetable we want any time, any where. Fresh tomatoes in February, peaches in November, etc.

There is a price to be paid for this luxury. In the old days, you'd eat what was in season or could be stored or canned. Peaches were eaten in July, Strawberries could be had earlier in the summer. Citrus and apples covered more of the winter months or you ate canned or preserves. Similar with vegetables. Some could be cold stored (the old root cellar - my grandmother had one) so you could get things like carrots or cold hardier things like broccoli or other greens, while others were eaten fresh on summer like corn or tomatoes (both technically fruits) or canned in winter.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:00 pm

livesoft wrote:If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas ... Obviously, this is not medical advice.
Did he really write that????? I guess this is why dietary advice is off topic!

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by John3754 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:02 pm

livesoft wrote:Many folks eat way too much...
If youre talking about hamburgers, oreos, and doritos then yes...if youre talking about vegetables, then no.
livesoft wrote:If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas and water. Obviously, this is not medical advice.
Obviously not, very obviously.

GoldenFinch
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:02 pm

livesoft wrote:Many folks eat way too much, so a lot of what goes in the mouth comes out the other end without really helping you. I suggest you adjust your food intake lower and lower until you achieve the weight you want, then add back calories slowly until you maintain the weight you want. You might be surprised how little food you actually need. If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas and water. Obviously, this is not medical advice.

Fruit smoothies are considered junk food by many. And there is no reason to pay extra for organic whatever that means.
Diet sodas are bad news.

Fruit smoothies are a lot of natural sugars and probably fattening. My husband makes them with frozen broccoli, spinach, plain oatmeal, peas, carrots, strawberries, banana, and plain non-fat yogurt. He does this every day after swimming two miles with some kind of swim team thing. It is expensive. My kids love them too. I could never drink my veggies, but I do think it is pretty healthy. :happy

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:04 pm

stan1 wrote:
livesoft wrote:If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas ... Obviously, this is not medical advice.
Did he really write that????? I guess this is why dietary advice is off topic!
To be fair, he wrote "If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas and water. Obviously, this is not medical advice." Diet soda is a horrible recommendation; water is the best. Still, the OP asked about the cost of fruits and vegetables, not about the Bogleheads dietary preferences.

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livesoft
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:06 pm

At $15 a day, instead I can order take from the local Chinese place for $15 and get a chicken/vegetable dish and a green bean dish plus rice that will last for 6 to 8 meals or 3 days. Eat oatmeal for breakfast (less than 50 cents with all the trimmings). And that is "eating out" for 3 days for less than $6 a day.

On fruit smoothies: Sugar is not good even if it comes from fruit and even if it is "natural". I will eat the oranges out of my tree, but only in season.
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GoldenFinch
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:07 pm

rygamer wrote:Try something like Square foot gardening. Although no luck with fruits. But veggies are easy to grow. Usually you end up giving away to family and friends . The quality is soooo much better.
:thumbsup

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:19 pm

This thread made me hungry, so I had a salad as described but also added Thai chicken leftovers, so filled a quart-size bowl (photo available). If I am still hungry I will have a glass of skim milk with 20 grams of chocolate-flavored protein powder added.
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GoldenFinch
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:32 pm

dodecahedron wrote: It is good you are buying at farmer's market and wholesale club. To cut costs further, maybe your kids would be interested in getting involved with a 4-H club and growing some of their own produce?
One kid did this for a couple summers and it was great!

The secret to my kids loving vegetables was the pediatrician saying feed them three square meals a day and me giving them veggies at the start of every meal since babyhood. From about 6 months old I gave them vegetables first and fruit last at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They never knew anything different so they continued to think it was normal to eat veggies for breakfast. This may seem kind of radical, but I was a picky eater and wanted better for them. The result is they eat vegetables and fruit like rabbits (and I feel like I did something good for them). So yes it is expensive, but to us, worth it. :happy

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:36 pm

On the topic of cost and nutrition, if not fruits and vegetables, the 7 March 2015 issue of The Economist includes their quarterly Technology Review, including food technology. Among other things, it mentions Soylent.
The Economist wrote:Sold as a powder to be mixed with water, it contains all the ingredients needed for sustenance, says Rob Rhinehart, Soylent's founder. It also eliminates the need to plan meals, cook, and clean up afterward. ...

Mr. Rhinehart himself uses Soylent for about 80% of his dietary needs. As a result he has not made a trip to the grocery store in years. He owns neither a fridge nor dishes. And he turned his kitchen into a library.

...monthly shipments with a "meal" costing roughly $3.
A quick estimate: 3 meals/day x $3/meal = $9/day or $270-$279/month. No trips to a grocery store, no effort for food preparation and clean up. And most importantly, a library space!

Victoria
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Stonebr » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:42 pm

rayout wrote:If your goal is to maximize nutrient intake, consider adding organ meats and home made broth, both of which have extremely high nutrient densities.
I think the point here is that the FDA now recommends 7-9 servings a day of fruits and Vegetables. It used to be 5 a day. The average American doesn't get anywhere near either. OP is asking how to get close to the FDA recommendation without going broke.
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Caduceus
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Caduceus » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:53 pm

Many folks eat way too much, so a lot of what goes in the mouth comes out the other end without really helping you. I suggest you adjust your food intake lower and lower until you achieve the weight you want
I can understand the assumption (statistically speaking), but actually, I need to gain weight, if anything. I haven't touched sodas in more than a decade and don't drink any fruit juices.
I think the point here is that the FDA now recommends 7-9 servings a day of fruits and Vegetables. It used to be 5 a day. The average American doesn't get anywhere near either. OP is asking how to get close to the FDA recommendation without going broke.
Yes, exactly. I think other countries are also now updating their guidelines. I confess I didn't actually know what a "serving" of veggies/fruits meant and was shocked at how much 9 servings a day would be.

As for organic vs. non-organic, I follow a middle path similar to what the EWG recommends. Foods on the dirty list I buy organic. Food not on the list I buy conventional. I am not emotionally invested in this decision, and given the confusing array of information out there (researchers don't agree) it seems like a fair compromise.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Bfwolf » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:02 pm

Those prices sound high to me. There are no proven medical benefits from eating organic foods, so that may be a place to start for reducing costs.

A lot of what I consume is frozen. At Walmart, I can buy an 8 serving bag of Pictsweet frozen spinach for $1.98. I can buy a 13 serving bag of frozen mixed fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapples, mangos) for $9.28. So that's 21 servings for $11.26, or less than $5 a day to achieve your goal. I combine the frozen spinach and frozen fruit in the blender to make smoothies, which is an easy way to consume them. I personally add carrot juice, almond milk, and strawberry protein powder to the smoothie, but you can find your additives for making them much more cost efficient.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:04 pm

Here's the website for FDA recommendation where they use a measurable unit of "cups" rather than ill-defined "servings":
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/

As an example, a large apple is considered to be two cups of fruit -- and the daily recommendation is 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit. One large apple and you've met the recommendation. Likewise vegetables are measured in cups and the daily recommendation is 2-3 cups. Two cups of kale, arugula, and spinach counts towards 1 cup of vegetable. Add in a cup total of chopped carrots, celery, tomato, etc. and you have a nice salad for lunch leaving one cup with dinner (for middle aged men, less for older men and women). Should be easy to do this on under $5/day. Just have to keep in mind that a large apple or 10 oz of spinach/kale is not a single serving.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:08 pm

Thanks for the link, so for lunch I had a minimum of 4 servings of vegetables+fruit according to the chart and your text.
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by fposte » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:12 pm

I've been enjoying Brian Wansink's Slim by Design and Mindless Eating, which are behavioral looks at eating and food-buying practice. The measure he returns to is half fruits and veggies, and he supports arranging shopping carts and cafeteria trays to cue for that.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by bottlecap » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:15 pm

chessmannextmove wrote:That seems expensive when compared to food that comes from subsidised farms. But that sounds right for organic fruits and vegetables.
The production of fruits and vegetables is largely unsubsidized, whether organic or not.

JT

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:22 pm

Lots of options to reduce costs:

1. Each cheaper fruits and vegetables (bananas, dry beans, etc are less than a quarter a serving). You could bring your monthly cost down from $450 to about $60
2. Grow your own
3. Shop the deals in weekly flyer -- I never did this until I realized I can save almost $200 / month. Plus it gets me eating a larger variation of food.
4. Buy what's in season http://frugalliving.about.com/od/foodsa ... roduce.htm
5. Buy frozen

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Compound » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:25 pm

Hayden wrote:I just signed up for CSA. I will get a big box of vegetables (more than I can eat) each week for 16 weeks. Total cost (upfront) is $475. I believe in eating large quantities of vegetables, so I'm hoping this works well for me.
Did the CSA thing for the first time last year. Absolutely loved it! Tons of veggies (and some fruits) every week! Just signed up the other day for this year's crop.

In our case, the CSA is an organic grower. We pay $600/year, which isn't cheap, but is still cheaper than buying an equivalent volume at whole foods.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by ks289 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:28 pm

Good points from other posters - even livesoft :oops:

You are going exotic on the fruits particularly, when basics are much cheaper. The veggies are probably a lot better for you with less sugar/carbs. Frozen veggies are cheap and easy, but you would need to learn to like cooked veggies. Either way loading up on fruits and veggies is a lot healthier than most diets (particularly mine!) if you are replacing stuff with sugar, simple carbs, preservatives, saturated fat, etc.

Financially, you need to compare your new food costs with your prior diet (status quo) to make a meaningful economic choice. I am assuming you didn't just add a bunch of additional food on top of your prior diet-that would be crazy. If you are replacing $40 worth of items (filet mignon, foie gras, etc) or $2 worth (ramen, generic mac&cheese, etc) then you'll see if the $15 is a big deal or not to your bottom line. I think our entire household does 20 total servings fruit/veggie a day for $10/day (mostly non organic).
Here is a national fruit/vegetable price index.
http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvwretail.pdf
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:30 pm

I buy a lot at farmers' markets in the summer, and root vegetables in the winter. My local farmers' markets are relatively inexpensive, but I was in neighboring state a few months ago and almost fell over at the prices in a farmers' market I happened to stop at. It was in a very high cost of living area area, but still. So worth shopping round.

I have not joined a CSA because for a single person, I'd be swamped with vegetables, judging by their lists. But it might be worthwhile for the OP.

Also, gardening, and paying attention to what's in season.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by mlipps » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:43 pm

My local Aldi has REALLY stepped up their produce game and has crazy good prices. They also now have some organics. I believe the organic 10 oz. spinach/baby kale/arugala box is $2.50 or $3. They also have organic tomatoes, avocadoes, and bananas, but I've never checked the prices. The last few weeks they've had blackberries for $1/pint!!! And a clamshell of 6 kiwi ranges between .80-1.20 week to week. Mangoes are usually $1 or sometimes .80. And this is in March in Chicago!

Also, they have organic frozen berries. Can't remember the prices, but WAY cheaper than WF/Trader Joe's and even the regular grocery store. Quality of their produce is eons better than it used to be. I no longer shop anywhere else on a regular basis. Glorious!

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by chessmannextmove » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:43 pm

bottlecap wrote:
chessmannextmove wrote:That seems expensive when compared to food that comes from subsidised farms. But that sounds right for organic fruits and vegetables.
The production of fruits and vegetables is largely unsubsidized, whether organic or not.

JT
Never said they were. For example: cow pig and chicken feed is.

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:57 pm

VictoriaF wrote:On the topic of cost and nutrition, if not fruits and vegetables, the 7 March 2015 issue of The Economist includes their quarterly Technology Review, including food technology. Among other things, it mentions Soylent.
The Economist wrote:Sold as a powder to be mixed with water, it contains all the ingredients needed for sustenance, says Rob Rhinehart, Soylent's founder. It also eliminates the need to plan meals, cook, and clean up afterward. ...

Mr. Rhinehart himself uses Soylent for about 80% of his dietary needs. As a result he has not made a trip to the grocery store in years. He owns neither a fridge nor dishes. And he turned his kitchen into a library.

...monthly shipments with a "meal" costing roughly $3.
A quick estimate: 3 meals/day x $3/meal = $9/day or $270-$279/month. No trips to a grocery store, no effort for food preparation and clean up. And most importantly, a library space!

Victoria
I went to the Soylent web site to check out the details. They charge $300 for a one-time 4-week supply, which covers 112+ meals. A subscription is at 20% discount, or $255 for 4 weeks. For initial customers, the order will take 4-5 months to arrive. I have ordered a one-time 4-week supply, which I expect to receive in July-August. At that time, I'll decide if it's worth subscribing to.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vitaflo
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by vitaflo » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:58 pm

We pay a few bucks for seeds in the spring and plant them in the garden. We get more veggies than we know what to do with (we give a lot away to co-workers, freeze/can the rest). Sun and rain are free. $20 in seeds when they're on sale will feed us with veggies for about 9 months. It's only when we get to March/April (right around now) that we need to start supplementing. Obviously we still buy veggies we can't/don't grow (black beans for example).

tigermilk
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by tigermilk » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:02 pm

Yep. Fruits and veg get pricey. I don't eat meat so I get plenty of good, and sometimes expensive, produce. You can keep coats down buying in season, but I would avoid cheap produce. Not all produce is the same. There's good, and there's bad. Real bad. Most of mine comes from the equivalent of Whole Foods, and if I go to the local grocer instead, I can tell the difference with some varieties. Don't think I could subject myself to frozen, and the only canned we touch are beans (not free).

One of the joys in life is food. Why skimp?

S&L1940
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:06 pm

Juicing will enable you to load up on veggies & fruit
Smoothies with frozen fruit and powdered protein and possibly one of those "super green" powder mixes delivers great nutrition
Lived in the metro NY area (not in Manhattan) where there were many produce markets with good quality and reasonable costs
Here in South Florida, many farmers' markets with large selection & below supermarket costs
Even Trader Joe's, despite selling produce by the piece as opposed to by weight, have competitive pricing
Costco's bagged produce is fine if you have the family that can finish the huge quantity before the stuff becomes inedible
hope this helps (I am a semi vegetarian, only eat fish)
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

S&L1940
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:14 pm

mlipps wrote:My local Aldi [snipped] Also, they have organic frozen berries. Can't remember the prices, but WAY cheaper than WF/Trader Joe's and even the regular grocery store. Quality of their produce is eons better than it used to be. I no longer shop anywhere else on a regular basis. Glorious!
Trader Joe's came out of the same group that formed Aldi, they (Aldi) are spreading throughout the US and I believe they are one of the major Euro grocers. The Albrecht brothers (now deceased) were among the richest folks on the planet...
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

ResearchMed
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SOYLENT (green??)

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:46 pm

VictoriaF wrote:On the topic of cost and nutrition, if not fruits and vegetables, the 7 March 2015 issue of The Economist includes their quarterly Technology Review, including food technology. Among other things, it mentions Soylent.
The Economist wrote:Sold as a powder to be mixed with water, it contains all the ingredients needed for sustenance, says Rob Rhinehart, Soylent's founder. It also eliminates the need to plan meals, cook, and clean up afterward. ...

Mr. Rhinehart himself uses Soylent for about 80% of his dietary needs. As a result he has not made a trip to the grocery store in years. He owns neither a fridge nor dishes. And he turned his kitchen into a library.

...monthly shipments with a "meal" costing roughly $3.
A quick estimate: 3 meals/day x $3/meal = $9/day or $270-$279/month. No trips to a grocery store, no effort for food preparation and clean up. And most importantly, a library space!

Victoria
Am I the only one here remembering the movie "Soylent Green"?

ANY
other name for this product, please...!

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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:37 pm

As mentioned by one poster, the "dirty dozen" list (which is more than a dozen these days) is a good reference for when the "organic premium" might be worth paying. It shows which produce had the highest pesticide residual when tested by the USDA. Note that this does not guarantee that organic is "better", but rather that the standard farming methods have a high pesticide residual. The current list is at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php

It also has a companion "clean" list, which are foods where standard produce has a low pesticide residual. So it might not be worth paying the "organic premium" for those. That list is at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

The report, which also contains the methodology used to derive the lists, can be found at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

Kale and spinach are on the dirty dozen list, so it's probably good to buy those organic. But as many have pointed out, you can get an organic greens mix for a whole lot cheaper than $6 for 10oz.

Edit: One more note. There may have also been a temporary alteration in produce prices for produce affected by the port slow-downs in California last month. This could have a residual effect for a while longer.

likegarden
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by likegarden » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:54 pm

Yes, I remember this movie about 'Soylent Green'.

S&L1940
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:00 pm

likegarden wrote:Yes, I remember this movie about 'Soylent Green'.
Edward G Robinson was on the menu and Charlton Heston was the hero who (I think) revealed to the remaining humans how their food was "home" grown
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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Toons
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by Toons » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:04 pm

I eat em like Candy,,,As indicated on the box:
"Pure Goodness" :wink:

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dolphinsaremammals
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:07 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:As mentioned by one poster, the "dirty dozen" list (which is more than a dozen these days) is a good reference for when the "organic premium" might be worth paying. It shows which produce had the highest pesticide residual when tested by the USDA. Note that this does not guarantee that organic is "better", but rather that the standard farming methods have a high pesticide residual. The current list is at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php

It also has a companion "clean" list, which are foods where standard produce has a low pesticide residual. So it might not be worth paying the "organic premium" for those. That list is at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

The report, which also contains the methodology used to derive the lists, can be found at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

Kale and spinach are on the dirty dozen list, so it's probably good to buy those organic. But as many have pointed out, you can get an organic greens mix for a whole lot cheaper than $6 for 10oz.

Edit: One more note. There may have also been a temporary alteration in produce prices for produce affected by the port slow-downs in California last month. This could have a residual effect for a while longer.
Whether one thinks organic food is better for human to eat or not, pesticide residues are terrible for the environment, particularly when they get to bodies of water, and because of their impact on beneficials like butterflies.

fposte
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Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Post by fposte » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:11 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:As mentioned by one poster, the "dirty dozen" list (which is more than a dozen these days) is a good reference for when the "organic premium" might be worth paying. It shows which produce had the highest pesticide residual when tested by the USDA. Note that this does not guarantee that organic is "better", but rather that the standard farming methods have a high pesticide residual.
Though "where the residual pesticide levels are highest" is a very different claim than "where the premium is worth paying"--you need the link between the lessened pesticide consumptions and some additional measurable gain to link those two. (Obviously if your goal is to support organic agriculture, that's another matter, but then that's not about earning back the premium.)

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