Deep Mexican Freeze Affects US Supplies

February 21, 2011

How do you know that a freeze in Mexico was particularly bad? Wendy's fast food chains will start offering tomatoes for their BLTs on request only.

A recent wave of frigid weather devastated crops in Texas, Florida, and Mexico at the same time. Many people don't realize how many vegetables in the middle of winter come from Mexico. In some areas, prices for crops like cucumbers and tomatoes have doubled or tripled.

Subway also reported drastically fewer supplies of veggies for their sandwichess. They plan to source the ingredients from other regions. Farmers believe the next harvest will be ready in April.

"It's been kind of the perfect storm of problems this year," one supermarket manager told The Wall Street Journal. "It's the first time I remember every area having the same problem at the same time."

Food prices for those ingredients will also increase at supermarkets while crop yields remain down. Want to avoid paying more at the store? Rather than buying ingredients that have to ship from across the continent, select local, seasonal produce. Buying those crops helps local farmers and will reduce the amount you'll pay. Particularly in season right now are brussels sprouts. See below for a delicious way to cook them.

Frozen Tomatoes

Photos via Jen Bowman

Wine-Glazed Brussels Sprouts



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