USDA: Yes, Healthy Snacks Can Be Cheaper

If you’ve read any food activist tome—the most recent pair being Michael Moss’s Salt Sugar Fat or Melanie Warner’s Pandora’s Lunchbox—you might believe that only the low prices of processed snacks keep people from choosing healthy snacks. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted a national survey over a year to determine if that was in fact the case.

The USDA’s results, published in November 2012, confirm earlier findings that showed that that was not correct. On a per-portion basis, fresh fruits and vegetables are often just as if not more affordable than processed salty or sugary snacks. For example, a serving of bananas, navel oranges, or baby carrots are all less costly than a serving of potato chips.

The USDA’s table, reproduced below, shows the results.

USDA ERS Table

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