The Los Angeles Times reports that California’s $30-billion produce industry accounts for more than half the fresh fruits and vegetables grown in America. (Thanks, California!) As much as we love local at the Co-op, we rely on plenty of California produce, too—particularly when it’s the off-season for our beloved Upper Valley growers.
But that means when wild weather affects crops in California, it also affects produce on our shelves, sometimes significantly. And like most grocers, right now we’re feeling the pinch in cauliflower.
Produce Merchandiser Dot Benham says unseasonably cold weather in California has led to low supplies and high prices nationwide, as limited supplies have increased demands.
“The market prices for some crops have gone up to historical highs,” she said. “That’s especially true in cauliflower.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cold weather in the rich cauliflower growing regions of California and Arizona has caused a shortage so severe, wholesale prices have more than doubled since early November.
The popularity of cauliflower in paleo and low-carb diets has affected supplies too, as cauliflower is often used as a rice or potato substitute.
Want to learn more? Check out this clip online from the good folks at National Public Radio’s here & Now: