According to the USDA:
"Among the 69 forms of fruits and 85 forms of vegetables included in the analysis, more than half were estimated to cost 25 cents or less per serving in 1999, and 86 percent of all vegetables and 78 percent of all fruit cost less than 50 cents a serving. That's 127 different ways to eat a serving of fruits and vegetables for less than the price of a 3-ounce candy bar. In fact, consumers can meet the [Food Guide Pyramid] recommendations of three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables daily for as little as 64 cents. Consumers trying to meet the 5-a-day challenge could do so for even less."In 2005, Washington Post food columnist Sally Squires asked: "What about eating according to the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines? Can you do it without taking a big bite out of your wallet?" Her answer:
"A little more than $5 for a full day's worth of modestly priced nutritious food (including oatmeal, milk, fresh fruit; beans and rice; whole grain and white bread, a hearty salad and a cup of peas). That's about the cost of one average fast-food meal."When asked whether eating a sound diet costs less, Center for Science in the Public Interest Executive Director Michael Jacobson acknowledged:
"Unprocessed, basic foods are frequently dirt cheap. Potatoes sometimes go for as little as a nickel or dime a pound in many places, and they're one of the very most nutritious foods. Beans and rice are very inexpensive."