Recent California storms resulting in berry shortages – If you’ve been having a hard time finding strawberries at grocery stores, you’re not alone, and recent weather events are to blame for the shortage. FOX 10’s Nicole Garcia reports. PHOENIX – Many people across the Phoenix area have noticed that baskets of berries are missing from grocery store shelves lately.
- April Summers, who owns Summers Fruit Barn, said strawberries are usually plentiful, and very affordable this time of year, but not for 2023.
- We haven’t been able to have sales on strawberries like we normally do,” said April Summers, who owns Summers Fruit Barn.
- This is due to a shortage that is expected to last several weeks.
Many California growers are reporting they have had to throw away a portion of their strawberry crop because of damage from heavy rains. Get the latest weather forecast “There was a big period of time I didn’t carry any,” said April Summers, who owns Summers Fruit Barn.
- I couldn’t afford to buy the strawberries to sell because I’d have to mark them up so much.” More than 90% of strawberries sold in the U.S.
- Are grown in California, and many farms were flooded from the barrage of back to back storms.
- As a result, the current crop is either bad or late, and that results in limited, or no supply, of strawberries on store shelves.
Besides strawberries, other popular summer berries are also affected. “Now, it’s blueberries, and everyone is saying the same thing: where’s the blueberries? Customers saying we can’t find blueberries, I say ‘I know. I’m with you.’ When I do find them, they’re so outrageously high,” said Summers. Strawberries
- 0.1 What country is the largest producer of strawberries?
- 0.2 Why keep strawberries in a jar?
- 1 Why is there a blueberry shortage?
Why is there a shortage of strawberries?
Strawberry Shortage Nationwide – How Honor Foods Can Help –
What Happened to Cause the Strawberry Shortage? What is the Result for Suppliers, Food Operators, and Distributors? How Can Honor Foods Help?
‘Tis the Season for strawberry shortcakes, strawberry lemonade, and strawberry salad. The only problem is, where are all the strawberries? 90% of strawberries harvested in the United States are grown in California. However, due to severe flooding in parts of the state, thousands of acres of the crop were lost.
Why can’t i buy strawberries?
There’s currently a strawberry shortage originating from three of the major strawberry growing regions. The shortage is causing many stores to be unable to fully restock their strawberry shelves, because demand is exceeding supply.
Where is the fruit of strawberry?
Why Do Strawberries Have Their Seeds on the Outside? “Why do strawberries have their seeds on the outside, instead of on the inside?” That was the question one of my daughters asked recently. I had no idea, so I reached out to, an associate professor of horticultural science at NC State.
And the answer surprised me. First off, strawberries don’t keep their seeds outside their fruit. Those things we think of as strawberry seeds aren’t seeds – and the big, red strawberry “fruit” isn’t technically a fruit. In “true” fruits, like peaches *, a flower is pollinated and then the flower’s ovary swells and becomes the fruit, with the seed or seeds in the middle.
Not so with strawberries. When a strawberry flower is pollinated, the fruit doesn’t swell. The fertilized ovaries in the flower form separate, small, dry fruits. Those “seeds” on the outside of a strawberry are actually the fruits, each of which contains a single seed.
- The ripe, red, fleshy part that we think of as the strawberry “fruit” is actually swollen receptacle tissue – the part of the plant that connected the flower to the stem.
- When a strawberry flower is pollinated, it triggers the receptacle tissue to grow and change.
- But that still doesn’t answer the question, it just changes it a little.
Why are the small, dry fruits located on the outside of the red, sweet thing that we all like to eat? The short answer is that we don’t really know which evolutionary forces caused the strawberry to develop the way that it did. However, Gunter notes, “there are a few fundamental reasons why plants have evolved different kinds of fruits.
- One reason is to attract something that spreads seeds.” A good example is,
- Scientists believe the avocado, with its enormous wood-like seed, evolved to be eaten that lived thousands of years ago.
- One of these animals would chow down on some avocados and either leave partially-eaten fruit (and its seed) nearby, or the seed would pass all the way through the animal and be left behind in its waste.
Since those giant beasts are no longer with us, avocados are now dependent on human intervention to spread their seeds. “A second evolutionary approach is for plants to find ways for their fruit to disperse on their own,” Gunter says. “For example, they may fly in the wind, like a dandelion, or be moved by the water, like a coconut.” The third option is for a plant to find ways for a fruit to deter animals from eating it.
“For example, the gingko fruit smells putrid,” Gunter says. “The goal there is for the fruit to not get eaten, so that the seed can rely on the fruit’s nutrients to support its growth.” Presumably, the strawberry went for evolutionary option number one – attract something to spread the seeds. But we don’t know the specifics.
*Note: The example for a true fruit was originally an apple. And then someone told me that apples are not true fruits either. In fact, they belong to a group called pseudo-carps, or false fruits. That’s because the part we think of as the fruit is made from plant parts other than the ovary.
What country is the largest producer of strawberries?
China is the largest strawberry producer in the world with 3,221,557 tonnes production per year.
Why keep strawberries in a jar?
How to Store Strawberries in the Fridge – Many of the berry storage guides you’ll find online share advice about how to clean and store strawberries and how to store cut strawberries. But we’ll cut to the chase: That’s not your best strategy if you’re seeking ways to keep your berries beautiful as long as possible.
- We’ve found that it’s best to store the strawberries, unwashed and whole, until you are ready to use them,” advises Lynn Blanchard, Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen director,
- It’s important to not wash berries before storing.
- They tend to absorb water, and that shortens their shelf life.” The berry company Driscoll’s echoes this sentiment, and recommends that you keep your berries as dry as possible as during refrigerator storage.
Either store in the container you purchased the berries, or transfer dry berries to a shallow storage with a paper towel. Scatter the dry berries on top in a single layer. Cover with a lid and place on a shelf inside your refrigerator, Blanchard suggests.
- Test Kitchen Tip: To potentially tack on a couple more days to the lifespan of your fresh berries, employ Mason jars if you own them, Blanchard says.
- The airtight nature of the jar seems to keep the strawberries fresher for slightly longer.
- Here’s how to store strawberries in Mason jars: Pat the berries dry, if any moisture remains, then gently drop them into a Mason jar.
Add the lid and twist to seal tightly. Place on a shelf inside your refrigerator. “Depending on the freshness of strawberries when purchased—which is the biggest factor in how long your berries stay fresh—they’re typically best within 3 days when stored in the refrigerator in a shallow container.
- But I have kept them for up to one week in a glass jar,” Blanchard confirms.
- To maximize flavor, take your strawberry container out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to eat them; strawberries tend to taste best at or near room temp, Driscoll’s fruit experts add.
- Just before you plan to eat or use the fruit in a strawberry recipe, rinse the berries under cool water, then use a knife to carefully remove the leaves and stems.
Slice as desired and enjoy. Related: 26 Sweet Strawberry Dessert Recipes Perfect for Summer
How did strawberries get hepatitis?
Investigation of the Outbreak – indicate that frozen organic strawberries, imported fresh from certain farms located in Baja California, Mexico in 2022, are the source of this outbreak. The hepatitis A virus strain causing illnesses in this outbreak is genetically identical to the strain that caused a, which was linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from Baja California, Mexico, and sold at various retailers.
- In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the 2 to 7 weeks before they became ill.
- Of people who were interviewed, 9/9 (100%) reported eating frozen organic strawberries.
- This proportion was significantly higher than results from a of healthy people in which 24% reported eating frozen berries in the week before they were interviewed.
In response to this investigation, California Splendor, Inc. of San Diego, California certain lots of 4-lb. bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries that were sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, California; Hawaii; and two San Diego, California business centers.
- The lots subject to this recall include: 140962-08, 142222-23, 142792-54, 142862-57, 142912-59, 142162-20, 142202-21, 142782-53, 142852-56, 142902-58, 142212-22, 142232-24, 142842-55.
- In response to this investigation, Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon frozen organic strawberries, sold to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in certain states.
Products subject to this recall include:
|Brand Name||Product Name||Net Wt.||UPC||Best By Date, Best If Use Date, Best Before Date||Distributed in States|
|Simply Nature||Organic Strawberries||24 oz.||4099100256222||6/14/2024||Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin|
|Vital Choice||Organic Strawberries||16 oz.||834297005024||5/20/2024||Washington|
|Kirkland Signature||Organic Strawberries||4 lbs.||96619140404||10/8/2024||Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington|
|Made With||Organic Strawberries||10 oz.||814343021390||11/20/2024||Illinois, Maryland|
|PCC Community Markets||Organic Strawberries||32 oz.||22827109469||29/10/2024||Washington|
|Trader Joe’s||Organic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries & Mango||16 oz.||00511919||04/25/24, 05/12/24, 05/23/24, 05/30/24, 06/07/24||Nationwide|
On March 17, 2023, a retailer, Meijer, also issued press to Made-With brand frozen organic strawberries from certain market store locations. In response to this investigation, on June 7, 2023, Wawona Frozen Foods of Clovis, California, initiated a of year-old packages of Wawona brand Organic DayBreak Blend 4-lb.
|Best If Used By 09/23/2023||Best If Used By 09/29/2023||Best If Used By 09/30/2023||Best If Used By 10/18/2023|
|Affected Lot Codes:||Affected Lot Codes:||Affected Lot Codes:||Affected Lot Codes:|
In response to this investigation, on June 12, 2023, Willamette Valley Fruit Co. of Salem, Oregon, select packages of frozen fruit containing strawberries distributed to the following retailers: Walmart (from January 24, 2023, to June 8, 2023), Costco Wholesale Stores (from October 3, 2022, to June 8, 2023), and HEB (from July 18, 2022, to June 8, 2023). Products subject to this recall include:
|Retailer||Product Name||Net weight||Lot Code||Best By Date||Distributed in States|
|Walmart||Great Value Sliced Strawberries||4 lbs.||4018305 4019305||7/19/2024 7/20/2024||AR, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV, WY|
|Great Value Mixed Fruit||4 lbs.||4024205 4025305 4032305 4033305 4034305 4035305||7/25/2024 7/26/2024 8/2/2024 8/3/2024 8/4/2024 8/5/2024|
|Great Value Antioxidant Fruit Blend||40 oz.||4032305||8/2/2024|
|Costco Wholesale||Rader Farms Fresh Start Smoothie Blend||48 oz. bag containing six 8 oz. pouches||4224202 4313202 4314202 4363202 4364202 4017302 4018302 4042306 4043306 4060306||2/11/2024 5/10/2024 5/11/2024 6/29/2024 6/30/2024 7/18/2024 7/19/2024 8/12/2024 8/13/2024 8/30/2024||AZ, CA, CO, TX|
|HEB||Rader Farms Organic Berry Trio||3 lbs.||4153205 4283202 4284202 4058302 4059302||12/02/2023 4/10/2024 4/11/2024 8/28/2024 8/29/2024||TX|
FDA’s investigation is ongoing; additional products might be included in the future. : Multistate Outbreak of Hepatitis A Virus Infections Linked to Frozen Organic Strawberries
Why is there a blueberry shortage?
Organic Blueberry Supplies Limited Due to California Cold Weather Cold weather delaying the bloom period for California’s organic blueberry crop has created a demand-exceeds-supply situation for the category. “Demand has exceeded supply for blueberries in the past couple of weeks,” said Markus Duran, director of bushberry supply for California Giant Berry Farms in Watsonville, CA. Markus Duran, Director of Bushberry Supply, California Giant Berry Farms Duran did note that his company does have consistent supplies presently as it is currently harvesting organic blueberries from Oxnard, CA, and Mexico. “Our volumes through April-June will be consistent.
Mexico is producing peak volumes currently, with Oxnard forecasted to peak mid-April through early-May,” he said. “Our Central Valley, CA production will carry us through the end of June, which is when our Pacific Northwest season begins. Our supply from April to June is projected to be 30 percent higher than last season.
This is due to younger plantings gaining maturity and new grower partners joining the California Giant Berry Farms’ team.” He added that blueberry demand is traditionally at its highest point this time of year for both conventional and organic blueberries, which is a significant factor in the demand-exceeds-supply situation.
Carson Evers, who is the berry buyer for Earl’s Organic Produce in San Francisco, confirmed that currently “the organic supply situation is pretty dim.” Carson Evers, Berry Buyer, Earl’s Organic Produce
On March 28, he said supplies from Mexico are winding down, and California production has barely kicked in. “A combination of rain and cold weather has slowed down the crop. It has not been warm enough to color the fruit so it can be picked and packed,” he said.
- We need a decent weather stretch to get it moving.” Currently, Evers is hoping that warm weather comes soon, and there is some good volume by late April.
- We are in a little bit of a gap right now,” he said.
- Traditionally we gap around this time of year, and I don’t see that changing until they figure out how to best grow blueberries under hoops.” “A combination of rain and cold weather has slowed down the crop.
It has not been warm enough to color the fruit so it can be picked and packed.” – Carson Evers The Earl’s buyer said the market price is reflecting the gap situation. “Mexico’s organic blueberries are in the low to mid-$30s, and the little amount of fruit available from California is creeping into the low $40s.” He added that because of the high prices, the 6-ounce basket is currently the most prevalent on the market. California Giant Berry Farms organic blueberries Evers said the organic berry category in general has limited volume as strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are also facing supply challenges. “We are seeing crazy markets going up and down with bursts of volume, followed by gaps, as growers try to strip the plants in between rainstorms.” “Mexico’s organic blueberries are in the low to mid-$30s, and the little amount of fruit available from California is creeping into the low $40s.” – Carson Evers He said this has created a situation where shippers are afraid to give quotes a couple of weeks out as they just don’t know if they will have the volume.
“There are not a lot of berry options for Easter,” he said, speaking of that holiday weekend that typically offers great ad opportunities for the category. Stephen Paul, category director at Homegrown Organic Farms (HGO) in Porterville, CA, said, “We are not going to have organic blueberries until mid-May.
There are a few coming out of San Diego and Oxnard right now, but the San Joaquin Valley, which is where we grow, is experiencing a two-week delay.” Stephen Paul, Category Director, Homegrown Organic Farms He noted that last year HGO had pretty good volume by the end of April, but that’s just not going to be the case this year. He explained that this year’s bloom was tardy, and the resulting fruit is following suit.
“The crop is going to be late. How late is weather dependent,” he said on March 29. “We just have to see what level of heat index we get over the next 30-45 days.” Paul said grower-shippers need to be talking to the retail community and get them prepared for good, promotable volumes in late May. “It has been my experience that an early start stretches out the season, but when you start late, they bunch up.
There is a high probability that, as an industry, we will have very good volume once we get going. Hopefully, retailers will be ready with their ads because we should see good value and lots of volume.” Homegrown Organic Farms organic blueberries He said the current market price is strong, but that will change when warm weather arrives and the volume pops. “The industry needs to get quality info to their retail partners,” he opined. “When the volume hits, we are going to need big promotions.” : Organic Blueberry Supplies Limited Due to California Cold Weather
Why are strawberries grown in China?
For California in the global markets for many specialty crops, including strawberries. Strawberry production in China has grown substan- tially, because strawberries are a relatively profitable crop in that country.