Remember The $12 Lettuce Era? Here’s How The Incoming El Niño Will Affect Aussie Food Prices

Sorry to be the harbinger of shitty news but you know those gorgeous punnets of strawberries you’ve been noshing on for $1.80 a pop? That could soon become a delicacy of the past with a new weather system set to compromise crops and drive up the cost of fresh produce.

At this point we’ve heard ad nauseam about that dry bastard El Niño moving in to town with a long, hot summer (and beyond) predicted to bring a return to drought conditions. Lest we forget La Niña (which wrapped up its WAP-reign in March) and the havoc it caused at the grocery store. At one point $12 heads of iceberg lettuce were being sold and your family’s Old El Paso Taco Tuesdays were never the same.

As always our poor farmers are at the behest of these intense systems with heatwaves or an onslaught of torrential rain having the potential to damage or destroy fruit and vegetables crops. And of course when stock is down, up go the prices, meaning your daily intake of five serves of fresh fruit and vegetables is in serious jeopardy. RIP to my digestive system.

In a word of warning, Victorian vegetable grower Catherine Velisha spoke to 9News about making the most of the cheap grocery prices before El Niño comes in to effect.

“On average prices are about 40 per cent less than they were last year across the board for vegetables, which is huge,” she said.

“Things don’t get much lower than what they are at the moment, that’s for sure.”

However, Velisha said there’s no need to fret right night but prepare for some potential price hikes and shortages in the new year and beyond.

“The rest of the year we’re looking good but now we’ve entered into a different period where there will be less rain for a few years,” she said.

“Now’s the time to buy and make the most of (low prices) because we don’t know what is coming.”

She does realise fruit and veggies go off, doesn’t she?

And on that ominous note it sounds like a good excuse to head to the shops and buy up all the fruit and veggie your pennies can afford, then FEAST. Oh and it also might be the perfect time to incorporate a decent multi-vitamin into your daily routine. Scurvy girl summer is just around the corner.