Even when cauliflower costs $7.99
The Canadian dollar is down. Oil prices are down. And the price of produce is way, way up.
These are sad days for the once-trendy cauliflower. As of January 20, 2016, one head cost as much as $8—triple its usual price. This spike in price, which can be seen in other produce such as lettuce and broccoli, is the result of a few factors.
First, we have the Canadian dollar. The dollar has dropped to about USD $0.70 thanks to falling oil prices, whereas two years ago it was valued at USD $0.93. This makes importing fresh veggies a costly endeavour.
Next, there’s the drought in California. That’s where we (in wintry Canada) get most of our vegetables in the off-season. But the drought means there’s less produce to go around, so prices are higher. Why, you may ask, has our beloved brassica taken the biggest hit? Well, cauliflower is a finicky crop, requiring just the right balance of hot and cold.
First of all: remain calm. Although roasted cauliflower might be off your menu, you can still buy organic, healthy food at affordable prices.
Did you know that the average Canadian throws out the equivalent of two apples each day? That adds up to a lot of wasted food (and, yes, money) over time.
Organic oats, nuts, dried fruit, and lentils can be readily found in most bulk sections, and they’re often cheaper than their packaged counterparts. Bonus: you cut down on waste if you bring your own reusable bulk bags.
In winter, organic frozen produce is often more affordable than fresh. You can use frozen fruits and vegetables in smoothies, of course, but they’re also versatile in cooked dishes. Get started with these recipes.
Try your best to buy organic meat and eggs, which are produced humanely and without antibiotics or hormones. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) also recommends opting for organic when it comes to the most pesticide-laden produce. Apples top the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, which also includes strawberries, spinach, and sweet bell peppers.