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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Figuring Out The True Cost Of Fruit

I recently bought a watermelon. It weighed a good 25 pounds. That's one heavy fruit! And because the watermelon wasn't so cheap per pound, it ended up being quite an expensive fruit! On top of that, just how much of that watermelon didn't get eaten because it was the peel? (Yes, I know the rind is edible, but I don't always have the energy to deal with it, and I assume most people don't use watermelon rind on a regular basis.)

I like having fruit in my house for myself and my kids to snack on. But sometimes, I am not really sure which fruit is the most worthwhile to get, once you factor in that you're throwing away the peels and cores of different fruit.
Just as I did with vegetables, I made a chart to help figure out what percentage of each fruit goes to waste, and what percentage gets eaten. Yes, I know each fruit varies in size and proportion a bit, but not too drastically that this calculation is far off.


The way I did this experiment was by weighing each fruit (in grams) as brought home from the store, then again when prepared for eating, all the parts typically not eaten, removed. Once I got these numbers, I divided the final weight by the first weight, and got the percentage of original, meaning, what percent the edible parts of the fruit are of the entire fruit.
To find out the price of the edible part of the fruit, you multiply the price by the inverse of the percentage, or take one and divide it by the percentage, and multiply that by the store price. I've included the number that you multiply the store price by.


Fruit
Original Weight
Final Weight
% of Original
Multiply Store Price By
Apple-cored
261
246
94.3%
1.06
Apple- deseeded
189
163
86.2%
1.16
Pear- cored
105
88
83.8%
1.19
Pear- deseeded
78
71
91.0%
1.10
Banana
229
132
57.6%
1.73
Grapefruit, peeled
376
300
79.8%
1.25
Grapefruit, no membrane
376
271
72.1%
1.39
Naval Orange
246
198
80.0%
1.25
Tangerine
301
248
82.4%
1.21
Nectarine
246
226
91.9%
1.09
Peach
227
212
93.4%
1.07
Apricot
73
64
87.7%
1.14
Plum
66
63
95.5%
1.05
Cantelope
1308
913
69.8%
1.43
Watermelon
5900
3468
58.8%
1.70
Grapes
276
270
97.8%
1.02


You may notice that for a few of the fruit, there are two listings. Apples and pears were weighed both when they were simply cored, and when they were cut in quarters and just the seeds and the inedible parts were removed. Grapefruits were weighed just peeled, and also weighed after the bitter membranes were removed.
The watermelon and cantaloupe had their peels/rinds removed, the grapes had their stems removed, the orange and tangerine were peeled, the bananas were peeled, and the peach, plum, apricot, and nectarine had their seeds removed.

You might notice that of the fruit listed, the most is wasted from bananas, followed closely behind by watermelon, then by the citrus fruits, and then the rest of the fruit. 

As I did with the vegetable chart, I made a google doc document for you to use. The way it works is you open the downloadable spreadsheet, press file, then "download as" and save it to your computer or phone or whereever. Once you download it, you plug in the store prices in the blue, next to the corresponding fruit, and it will automatically calculate the true price, which will appear in the green next to it.
If you download this onto your smartphone (if you have one), you can plug in the numbers as you see them in the store, to see which fruit is most worth your while to get.

Yes, there are certainly some fruit missing from here, the more "exotic fruit". That's for the next chart. (I first need to calculate this information for pineapples and pomegranates.)

If you like these types of calculations, you might like the other posts in my "true cost" series.

So, are you surprised at all about the results, which fruit ends up being most worthwhile to get? Does this chart make you rethink buying your standard fruit, confirm that what you're getting is most worthwhile, or is it just amusing but with no practical benefits to you because you'll be buying the same anyhow?
Do you plan on using this chart to help calculate the true price of fruit in your area? Do you have a smartphone, and do you plan on downloading it to use in the grocery store?

Linking up to  Simple Lives Thursday

1 comment:

  1. I had been wondering how much a banana actually costs since so much of it is skin. Thanks for doing the research!

    ReplyDelete

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