Price of Produce Could Go Up

Price of Produce Could Go Up

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Samantha Hayes Reporting Some things just seem to go together, like Spring and strawberries. But the unusual weather pattern that's soaking California could affect what produce we buy in the supermarket.

It's situations like this that remind us where we get our food; when it comes to produce much of what Utah buys is from California. Life without strawberries is unacceptable for Cade Allred.

Cade Allred: “Ummmm, I would cry.”

Emotions aside, it's simple supply and demand economics.

Bill Price, Associated Food Stores: “Like these strawberries are so easily damaged by the weather, just directly hit and beaten upon.”

And if you work in the food industry, like Price, weather patterns affect more than your weekend plans.

Bill Price: “I've sworn on Mark Eubank as much as anybody I've known because he's the one who tells me another jet stream shift is going through our growing regionsl.”

Price says three factors affect availability of produce -- damage to the fruit, or vine, ability to harvest, and damage to crops coming up.

Bill Price: “Iceberg lettuce, spinach, things like that are really highly susceptible to the damage.”

Shauna Walker: “If you are going to have a salad you have to have lettuce. So I guess I'd be willing to pay more money for it.”

Hurricanes wiped out Florida tomatoes last year, and weather recently destroyed bananas in Ecuador and Costa Rica, another main Utah supplier.

Bill Price: “It's always something, it really is.”

Kristi Talbot: “I do like strawberries, but you can actually substitute something else if you want to.”

While strawberries, bananas, and leafy green vegetables may become scarce, word is the broccoli crop is quite healthy this year.

If the problem is short term most grocers will absorb the price. But, for instance, if rainy weather in Southern California continues, we'll be paying more..

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