Eating fresh produce does NOT have to break the bank

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) published a research study called The Cost of the Recommended Daily Servings of Fresh Produce that shows how a huge part of our daily food intake requirement (fruits and vegetables!) are available at a very reasonable cost.

Kathy Means, vice president of government relations and public affairs for the PMA stated that ”Our research shows that consumers can get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables affordably.”

Great news for fresh eating and living!!!  In addition to encouraging Americans to “make half their plate fruits and vegetables,” PMA offers a five -point consumer checklist (that we quoted them on below) for affordable produce.  Enjoy these healthy shopping tips!

1. Shop the sales! Nearly one-third of produce items are on sale at your store right now.

2. Use produce as a meal-extender. Salads, soups and stews allow you to create tasty, nutritious meals that cut back on more-expensive items such as meats.

3. Buy what you need; it’s not a bargain if you buy it but don’t get to eat it. Some items, like apples, oranges, and potatoes, are stock-up items that will last for a while at home. Others, like berries or mushrooms, should be eaten within a few days.

4. Know your serving sizes. A serving of fresh produce is one-half cup (one cup for leafy greens). So a large banana or a grapefruit may be two servings. That means the price you’re paying is for two, not one.

5. Share. If you see a bargain for a larger pack at the store or warehouse club, buy it and share with friends or neighbors.

The recent release of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends increased consumption of fruits and vegetables to nine servings or 4.5 cups a day. This is also illustrated by the MyPlate program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that advises making ‘half the plate’ fruits and vegetables.  Read more at www.pma.com.