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Lettuce shortage impacting restaurants and grocery stores

Food professor Sylvain Charlebois says the situation should improve next month
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Next time you head out to grab lunch, you may need to hold the lettuce.

Many restaurant chains, including Subway and Wendy's, have warned customers about a temporary shortage in supply.

The director of Dalhousie University's Agri-Food Analytics Lab says it's due to weather conditions in California.

"They had a really dry end of summer. Early fall was again very, very dry which made lettuce plants weaker and a virus destroyed many crops out there," Sylvain Charlebois told CityNews Halifax. 

"So many farmers actually didn't have anything to sell, which impacted exports, and we're a big buyer of lettuce this time of year."

That's leading to some restaurants either scaling down lettuce portions, or not offering it at all.

"They just can't absorb the extra cost," Charlebois explained. "A case is four times more expensive than six months ago."

It may also be difficult to find iceberg and romaine at the grocery store, and if you can, prepare to pay more.

But Charlebois expects the situation to improve next month.

"Arizona and Mexico will start shipping lettuce back to Canada, so for the holiday season we are expecting plenty of lettuce at a decent price," he said.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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