There's A Major Cauliflower Shortage—But That's Not Even The Worst News

By Maria Carter from


January 20, 2016

Bad news, low-carbers: You'll have to find another yummy substitute for potatoespopcornand rice. There's a cauliflower shortage, and the white vegetable, when you can find it, may soon go for more than $8 a bundle.

The Daily Beast reports that "unusually cold weather" in California and Arizona is to blame for the shortage. The two states produce the bulk of U.S.-grown cauliflower, and "major" drops in temperature there-including overnight dips below freezing-may have stressed the florets.

Supply has been dwindling since December, sending fans of the versatile food staple into "panic mode," thus driving up prices. Late last year, foodservice distributor Sysco warned its clients of the cauliflower emergency, saying "yields are at historical low levels," and the Produce Alliance called any cauliflower yield an "act of God." Other wholesale companies expressed little hope about the "grim situation" of cauliflower's high demand and short supply.

The Washington Post says the vegetable's trendiness is adding to the problem: "Cauliflower is so hot right now you may not be able to afford it," read a recent headline. 

"Cauliflower is getting its time in the limelight and finally getting some love," third-generation vegetable supplier told the newspaper.

The Produce Alliance, in its most recent report, said the situation is slowly improving, although producers are "still experiencing higher than normal prices and short supplies."

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Cauliflower Is So Hot Right Now You May Not Be Able To Afford It — Or Find It

By Karen Heller from The Washington Post


January 15, 2016 

Cauliflower had become Lauren Hetrick’s go-to vegetable. “We have it as often as possible,” says the Rockville, Md., mother of three. “Once we roasted it, my kids really liked it — and they’ll eat anything if you put cheese on it.”

But for weeks, Hetrick was unable to find any cauliflower, anywhere. Her quest for it “became a joke,” she says. “I went from grocery to grocery,” futilely stalking the elusive object of her family’s desire. “If I found cauliflower, it was $6 and a really little head, like the size of your hand. That’s not going to feed anyone. Well, maybe the guinea pig.”

These are heady times for cauliflower. High demand, unseasonably cool temperatures in farming regions and limited supply are resulting in scarcity or absurd prices for the latest “it” food.

How absurd? You may want to sit down for this: $7.99 for an organic head at the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op. In Philadelphia, Weavers Way Food Co-op suspended stocking the vegetable for three weeks out of concern that the lofty price tag would discourage buyers. But demand persisted.

Produce Alliance, a consultant to produce distributors, reported in the Christmas week edition of its market review that cauliflower, the veggie that uprooted king kale, was — not to get too technical — in “ACT OF GOD” status.

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