Freeze causes produce shortage

Produce prices have nearly doubled in the past few weeks, thanks to a freeze in Mexico and on the West Coast.

Lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and asparagus are some of the main produce items being impacted.

Jack Carter has a produce stand at the farmer’s market in Colfax, and normally sells at least  case or two of lettuce each week.

He hasn’t sold any over the past three weeks.

“What I had to do, was stop selling lettuce. When it gets to a certain price people aren’t going to buy it,” explains Carter.

When the prices skyrocket, sellers can choose to spend more money on a product and hope the customers will pay more to cover the cost, or not buy the product.

Carter has seen the price of lettuce nearly double in the past few weeks.

“Usually I pay about $23.00 or $24.00 a case, and it went to about $35.00 or $37.00 a case. The price is about 99 cents a head and it went to about $1.79 a head,” explains Carter.

Local grocery stores have also posted signs warning their customers about the slim pickings.

Produce stands say they are starting to see the prices decrease a bit, but they’re still higher compared last year’s prices.

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