It's not just consumers that are feeling the pinch regarding the rising cost of produce and the shortage of lettuce.
Restaurant owners are struggling to keep menu items affordable while paying more for produce such as tomatoes and lettuce.
Johnny Beam is the owner of Taco Time and Hot Diggity here in Moose Jaw. Being in the taco business, he goes through a lot of produce, especially lettuce.
“Being in the restaurant business, everything fluctuates up and down so much, but you can only adjust your prices so much where people are just going to say, well, I'm not eating out anymore,” Beam told Discover Moose Jaw.
When it comes to the lettuce shortage, Beam said the biggest difference is the price. He could buy a case of shredded iceberg lettuce for $71 per case or heads of lettuce for $36 per case. He also found it unusual that heads of lettuce are usually more readily available than shredded.
So, in order to keep his costs down, he’s been purchasing heads of lettuce and shredding them at the restaurant.
“We have two full fresh cases. It's nice too because it's all wrapped up, it's boxed up nicely and when we open it up, we cut it up and after we've cut it up, it doesn't last very long around here,” Beam said, noting that, if anything, the quality of the lettuce isn’t always the greatest.
His fear is that, if heads of lettuce become short in supply, he will be forced to pay astronomical prices for shredded lettuce.
According to a post by SPUD, a Vancouver-based food delivery service, there is a couple of reasons for the lettuce shortages and the raising costs.
With the majority of Canada’s lettuce supply coming from California, the state has gone through a heat wave followed by torrential rains that have affected the quality and quantity of the crops. There is also an outbreak of impatiens necrotic spot virus that has been killing off crops.
Beam said the raising costs don’t stop just at lettuce. He said in the past week the price for a case of tomatoes had gone up from $36 per case to $70 per case.