Veg crisis: Have we really become this removed from food production?

Today an irate Sainsbury’s shopper launched a scathing attack at his local store for having a fruit and vegetable selection “like a Third World country”.

Ray Houghton, 47, said that in this “day and age it’s shocking” that the shelves have been left empty, adding that “with Donald Trump in power this might not be huge news, but it really isn’t on”.

And he’s not alone. As the vegetable crisis grips the nation it seems many people have been left bewildered at how extreme weather in the Mediterranean could have caused supply shortages, but it does beg the question of why.

These days people have the privilege of having a year-round assortment of fruit and veg. If you want an avocado on your salad in December there will be a good supply of them, if you want sprouts on your Sunday roast in mid-July you’ll also get a good pick.

In fact, supermarkets have grown to offer such a ubiquitous choice of food that seasonality long went out of the window, and so too, it appears, did our connection with the food cycle.

This should not be a shocking statement: If unfavourable weather conditions affect the farming of vegetables then guess what, we’ll probably end up with less on our shelves!

An extreme mix of drought followed by flooding and freezing conditions has severely affected growers in southern Spain, while poor conditions have also hit farmers in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Paint me bewildered, but a farming crisis really shouldn’t leave this many people stunned when they turn up to shops and find a shortage of farmed produce. Come on guys!


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