News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Study of 1000s of NZ fruit & vege prices shows markets best

Study of 1000s of NZ fruit & vege prices shows markets best value

A family of four could save as much as $49 per week by buying their fruit and vegetables at markets other than from a supermarket, a University of Otago Wellington study shows.

The study collected 3120 prices for fruit and vegetables at markets and supermarkets in Wellington and Christchurch. It found that commonly purchased produce such as apples, oranges, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes were on average significantly cheaper at fruit and vegetable markets compared to supermarkets in Wellington and Christchurch.
The researchers developed a hypothetical weekly “shopping basket” for a two adult, two child family containing ideal amounts of fruit and vegetables from a health perspective. They then compared the costs of the basket at various outlets.

Fruit and vegetable markets were the cheapest at $76 per weekly basket. Online supermarkets were the next cheapest at $113, although this could be offset by delivery charges, says one of the study’s authors, Dr Amber Pearson. The difference between the cost of the basket at a fruit and vege market compared to a supermarket was $49 less at the market.

Farmers’ markets that sell from local growers were the most expensive of the outlets studied, at $138 per basket. But a third of the items in the basket were still significantly cheaper than supermarkets, including cauliflower, silverbeet, spinach, cucumber and pumpkin.

The researchers note that farmers markets also have the advantages of expanding consumer choice by providing more access to local produce and more “organic” produce – with such organic produce having lower pesticide levels.

Another author of the study, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, says there is strong scientific evidence that high fruit and vegetable consumption protects against heart disease, stroke and some cancers, but the reality is that it isn’t always easy for low income families to buy enough of this produce.

One way to overcome this cost barrier is for New Zealand to explore following the approach of some US jurisdictions where fruit and vege vouchers are provided to low-income people, he says.

“If these are usable at markets, then this can help support local growers as well – so it can be good for regional employment.”

Another approach is for local government to increase support for fruit and vege markets in various ways – something that some Councils in parts of the country have already done by providing free space for holding markets.

In summarising the research, Dr Pearson says there is a need for society to better understand the benefits of fruit and vegetable markets for health – “but also in terms of wider benefits such as supporting local agriculture and building community cohesion”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Rushing For Gold

The first section focuses particularly on the Victorian connections – commercial, legal, mining and personal, including migration statistics. But for me the most interesting chapters were in the middle sections about the people of the goldfields. More>>

Comedy Festival Review: VOTE BATT

The political campaigning in the US over the last eight months or so has provided a stark insight into how far political candidates are willing to go. This background came into focus as “former comedian” – now politician – Tim Batt ushered people up into the front seats, passing out badges and taking photographs with his not entirely adoring public... More>>

HRH QEII's 90th: New Zealand Post Birthday Stamps Fit For A Queen

New Zealand Post is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special series of stamps and a limited edition silver coin. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. To mark her birthday, New Zealand Post has produced ‘lenticular’ or moving stamps that feature nine different images of the Queen on just three stamps. More>>

ALSO:

Anzac Day: A Time To Stand Against Hatred

The Human Rights Commission says ANZAC Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news