$10 of vegetables

December 15, 2019 by Joshua
in Nature, Tips

People keep asking if eating vegetables is expensive.

They rarely believe the opposite, which I find.

Farmers markets rock

When I only knew how to shop in supermarkets, I didn’t know how affordable and accessible fresh fruits and vegetables were, even if you live in a food desert. Some people will never get past their blinders to keep acting as if they know better, as if it’s only possible for people with privilege.

Of course we want to improve access. Buying local produce and sharing how to do it is how to help farmers markets spread and people buying cheap, healthy, and delicious.

Yesterday’s haul

Here’s yesterday’s haul from one stand. Even I was surprised. Even in mid-December in New York, I bought plenty of greens

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Green cabbage
  • Purple cabbage
  • Kabocha squash

(Oops, the butternut squash was already in my kitchen).

The green cabbage was so big I had to cut it to fit it in my fridge. It was too big even for my knife and I almost cut myself.

The kale and collards can stay fresh at least two weeks. The cabbage possibly a month. I’ll eat them before then. My point is that one or two shopping trips a month can supply greens.

Actually, I’ll probably turn the cabbage into sauerkraut to supply me greens in February and March, when local farms only sell root vegetables.


With a few dollars of dried legumes, a pressure cooker, and some toppings, these vegetables may make twenty meals, maybe more. That’s for me, who eats more than most. For others maybe 30% more meals.

So under $1 per meal to give taste, variety, and nutrition with a few hours shopping per month. I’d add nutritional yeast, which can store for a year in the cupboard.

I only left out how delicious everything tastes.

No waste

Since I brought my bag and returned the rubber bands around the kale and collard greens, this whole haul created no trash. As best I could tell, the farmer, whom I spoke to a few minutes, brought everything in reusable boxes. The truck’s fossil fuel emissions probably were the greatest source of pollution.

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