Israel is a haven for cheap, locally produced fruits and vegetables according to a recent study conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Development’s Research, Economics and Strategic Division.
The study, which examined the price of 11 fresh produce items in Israel, Europe and the United States, found that many fruits and vegetables in Israel were much cheaper than in other parts of the world.
Not surprisingly, tomatoes and peppers-two major cash crops exported around the world by Israeli farmers-are cheaper in Israel than in the United States. The price difference, though is staggering. In the US, customers pay 340 percent more than Israelis do for tomatoes and 116 percent more for peppers.
The same is true for avocados and cucumbers, also grown locally in Israel, when compared to European prices. Cucumbers cost 270 percent more in France and 260 percent more in Germany while avocados cost 360 percent more in the UK than in Israel.
Only one fruit of the 11 produce items studied, bananas, cost more in Israel than the US, due to the fact that bananas are largely imported items. Among vegetables, only onions were found to cost less in Germany than in Israel.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the cheaper prices in Israel reflect Israel’s strong farming tradition and long growing season. Currently, Israel produces 95 percent of the nation’s food requirements and most fruits and vegetables consumed in Israel go directly from farm to market.
One benefit of the bountiful and cheap produce is that Israelis eat more veggies than most of the world. A recent OCED study found the average Israeli consumes nearly 440 pounds of vegetables each year, far more than those in either Europe or the United States.