A recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) challenged the myth that healthy food costs more than junk food, according to an article in USA Today.
In fact, the study found that many healthy food items—including carrots, pinto beans, mashed potatoes and orange juice—cost less per serving than junk foods like ice cream, chocolate candy and French fries.
“We have all heard that eating a healthy diet is expensive, and people have used that as an excuse for not eating a healthy diet, but healthy foods do not necessarily cost more than less healthy foods,” Andrea Carlson, an economist and co-author of the report, said.
The ERS report assessed food prices of more than 4,000 grocery items and determined the price per serving size. In previous reports, food prices were calculated per calorie, which Carlson said is an inaccurate measure based on how much a person eats.
“The price of potato chips is nearly twice as expensive as the price of carrots by portion size,” she noted.