(Aug. 9) When it costs about $1 for a 5-pound bag of potatoes at the grocery store, it’s hard to imagine that some consumers complain about the cost of fresh produce.

But they do.

Thanks to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture study released in late July, that complaint will have even less validity.

The USDA study, “How Much Do Americans Pay for Fruits and Vegetables?,” showed that on a per-serving basis, most fresh fruits and vegetables are cheaper than a typical candy bar and are less expensive than their canned or frozen competitors.

In fact, more than half of the fruits and vegetables studied were estimated to cost 25 cents or less per serving, and 86% of all vegetables and 78% of all fruit cost less than 50 cents per serving.

Part of consumers’ confusion may come from the definition of serving sizes. The USDA uses size definitions from 40 years ago, long before the development of the supersized-food mindset.

Consumers often consider one piece of fruit a serving, but to the USDA’s food pyramid, it’s a half cup. That means your typical large apple may be 1½ or two servings, making reaching 5 a Day that much easier — and cheaper.

With this new information, industry leaders should consider promoting how easy, inexpensive and tasty it is to eat healthfully rather than confusing consumers with color schemes, net carbs and antioxidant jargon.

A $1.50 to 5 a Day? That’s not so hard.