More and more millennials are now turning to buying fresh vegetables for a surprising reason. As it turns out, the affordability of fresh vegetables led people to eat more greens, making Americans healthier than ever.
Studies show that fresh fruits and vegetables are cheaper than processed foods, which are packed with artificial flavors, fillers, and/or excess salt and sugar. Plant-based diets are deemed as the healthiest, particularly vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean diet.
Consumption of fresh vegetables in the U.S. has increased by more than 20 percent since 2008, finds a recent report. Fresh fruit consumption is up just over 16 percent. But for people under age 40, that number is more than double. During the same time frame, consumption of processed fruits and vegetables, including frozen produce, has decreased by nearly 11 percent.
Have Americans suddenly developed a taste for fresh produce? Are we finally taking our health seriously? Yes and no, finds the research.
It turns out price, more than taste, health, or convenience, is driving more people to make the switch. In 2008, when the Great Recession hit, produce prices were trending higher, and have since stabilized, cites the report from Wells Fargo.
“Consumers have rationally reacted to much higher prices on the processed side in relation to the fresh side,” Eugenio J. Alemán, senior economist with Wells Fargo, said in an interview. “In relative terms, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are cheaper today than processed fruits and vegetables are.”
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