Fruits of Our Labor

Summer is the perfect time to shop for fruits because the warm weather allows most grocery stores to carry seasonal fruits such as cherries, watermelons, mangoes, strawberries, and a variety of grapes. We were taught that summer was the perfect time to shop for these delicious and healthy snacks because prices will generally be lower than any other point of the year. Our desire to make a refreshing smoothie, without having to use frozen fruits, led us to the nearest grocery store. Let’s just say that we never got to make our smoothie.

The fruits aisle is our second favorite section of the grocery store, second to only the snack aisle, of course. The wide array of sweet and refreshing treats, all piled high in an enormous rainbow of flavors, tempts even the unhealthiest patron to try a grape while an employee isn’t looking. That being said, although tempting to taste, the price makes these delectable treats unappealing to buy.

We went into the grocery store with a mission: to buy some cherries, a few mangoes, and a bundle of green grapes. Our first stop was the cherries. We clandestinely acquired two cherries from a bag to taste, just to make sure they were worth buying, and they were. Cherries are one of our favorite fruits, so we were enthralled that the grocer sold quality cherries where none seemed spoiled. The price: $3.99/lb, and the bag was over 3 pounds. At over $12 for a bag of cherries we had to put them down. The mangoes were a better deal, so we decided to buy 3 for $5. The grapes were almost as expensive as the cherries, $2.99/lb, so we decided to forgo the grapes as well.

It’s so difficult to eat healthy while on a budget because a healthy, sweet treat can cost upwards to the price of a full meal. That being said, as medical students we can’t emphasize enough the importance of sacrificing a few dollars here and there to support a healthy lifestyle. So while we couldn’t afford the Lamborghini-fruits, our nickname for the most expensive fruits (cherries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apricots), we settled on the Honda-fruits, the cheaper yet still delicious fruits (mangoes, apples, pears, oranges, bananas).

In hindsight, we make choices every day without realizing the cost-benefit of our purchases. It’s easy for us to spend upwards of $20 for a dessert in NYC, as long as it’s cool, Instagram-worthy, or has a particular niche, whether it be vegan based, organic, fresh cream, etc. We’ve definitely spent our fair-share of money for dessert, but now it’s strange that we contemplate a more nutritious treat, sure to last longer than an artisan dessert, that is well below $20.  We think it’s time for us to rethink our budget and put more value on eating healthy.

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