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Obtaining key nutrients from canned foods can save consumers money
Date:4/22/2012

ing size, but fresh tomatoes take longer to prepare, adding to the real cost of fresh.
  • Corn When looking at purchase price alone, fresh corn is less expensive than canned or frozen. However, when the cost of waste (most notably the cob) is factored in, as well as time to prepare, canned corn offers the same amount of dietary fiber as fresh at a 25 percent savings.
  • Spinach With a lower cost-per-serving than fresh or frozen, canned spinach provides vitamin C at an 85 percent savings when compared to fresh or frozen.

    The market-basket study involved buying, preparing and analyzing canned, fresh, frozen and dried (where available)i corn, green snap beans, mushrooms, peas, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, pears, peaches, pinto beans and tuna fish. The foods were cooked so that an accurate comparison could be made. All varieties purchased were with no added salt or sugar when available.

    Time is money as the adage goes, so to arrive at the actual cost of each type of food, time spent cleaning, preparing and cooking was recorded and calculated at a rate of $7.25 per hour (the minimum wage in New Jersey where the research took place). Many fresh foods that are sold by the pound, ounce or other measure require peeling, pitting, removing stems and other steps, which reduce the amount of food available for eating. Therefore, the cost of this waste was factored into the actual cost of a serving of those foods.

    The foods also were analyzed to determine the cost of several key nutrients, including protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. The nutrient content was obtained from the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, Standard Release 24. The nutrients selected for comparison were included because they are either "nutrients of concern" for children, adolescents and adults and/or are those commonly found in these foods.


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  • Contact: Suzanne Price
    sprice@nutrition.org
    619-525-6213
    Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
    Source:Eurekalert

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