Is fruit really too expensive?

February 17, 2009 | Peggy Martin

Is fruit really too expensive?

On a recent shopping trip, I started thinking about the cost of produce—bananas to be specific. It seems their cost has really skyrocketed over the past few years. I’m probably dating myself by admitting that I remember when I could buy bananas for 25 cents a pound! On this shopping trip to a big box store, the cost was 64 cents a pound. Well, it’s no wonder families are tempted to buy snack food to satisfy their hungry members instead of produce. So, being a home economist, I decided to do a comparison. I bought 5 bananas that weighed 1.71 pounds; the cost was $1.09. That meant that each banana cost between 20 and 21 cents each.

Next, I strolled over to the snack aisle and looked at a package of taco chips. The regular size bag cost $3.99. How many bananas could I buy for the cost of a bag of chips? Nineteen bananas! For a family of four, each member could have a banana a day for about 5 days for the cost of one bag of chips.

I’m sure the chips would not last that long at most houses; but, neither would the bananas. The lesson for me was that fresh produce may seem expensive, but when you calculate it by serving (a banana is one serving), the cost is reasonable. The challenge is to know—and serve—just one serving. Fresh produce tastes so good it may be hard to eat just one. Sounds like the start of a campaign—”I bet you can’t eat just one.” Oh, right, that’s already been used with a chip commercial.

                                           -contributed by Susan Klein

Peggy Martin

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