USDA-ERS data provide estimates of the costs per edible cup equivalent for a variety of fruits and vegetables, including vegetables often featured on Americans’ Thanksgiving tables.
ERS calculated vegetable costs using 2013 retail prices. An edible cup equivalent is the edible portion of a food — after snapping the ends off of green beans and steaming them, or baking a winter squash and discarding the leftover peel — that would fill a 1-cup measuring cup.
The average cost of 15 selected cooked vegetables was $.60 per edible cup. Fresh acorn squash was the most expensive on a per edible cup basis, while fresh white potatoes were the least expensive.
Processed vegetables are not necessarily more expensive than their fresh counterparts. For example, fresh green beans cost $.70 per edible cup, while frozen green beans came to $.55 per cup and canned green beans cost $.38 per cup.
This chart is based on ERS’s data product, Interactive Chart: Costs per Edible Cup Equivalent, June 2015.