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What's the deal with fresh lettuce lately?

For the past several months I haven't seen any decent fresh lettuce in the supermarkets. There's still plenty of that abominable bagged lettuce, more of it, in fact, it seems,than before; and there's the old standby iceberg, dry and gnarled as usual, as well as that new-fangled hydroponic stuff. But all the romaine and green leaf lettuce I've been seeing of late is so scrawny and sad looking that I wouldn't eat it if they were giving it away.

I'm wondering whether this is just a local thing or is there a national shortage. Bad weather hurt the crops?

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    1. Yes. My produce buddy told me the lettuce is terrible this year due to weather issue.

      1. Actually, I think the situation has bottomed out. I was at the grocer today and the lettuce (romaine and red leaf) was much fuller than it had been and prices had dropped. Much better than a few weeks ago, when the pickings were dire.

        7 Replies
        1. re: masha

          Good thing because life without crispy romaine lettuce would be a drag.Love the stuff.

          1. re: masha

            Not yet! At least not in Chicago. I picked up a saaaaad head of iceberg for $1.49 and saw them for $2.49 in a different store. $2.49! For iceberg!

            Sigh. Weather. :-(

            1. re: Violatp

              I'm in Chicago too. I don't buy iceberg and haven't noted the price. I mainly buy redleaf & Romaine, generally from Caputo's which tends to have very competitive pricing and good quality lettuce. Nonetheless, a month ago Caputo's was selling both Romaine & red leaf at over $2/lb, and the heads were pretty scrawny. Their price has fluctuated more recently. Most recently, Caputo's has been charging around $1.49/lb for both (One thing I like about Caputo's, unlike some other grocers, is they sell lettuce by the pound, so you don't get ripped off when by the size of the lettuce).

              1. re: masha

                The $2.49 was at A&G on Belmont - generally have really, really good prices on produce. I don't have a Caputo's within easy distance, but I wish I did.

                I didn't know that - that they sold lettuce by the pound instead the head. Nice!

                1. re: Violatp

                  Not sure how Caputo's prices iceberg - could be by the head. Leafier lettuces like red leaf and Romaine are definitely sold by the lb. (Same is true of their bell peppers, unlike Jewel, for example, which typically sells them by the piece.)

                  1. re: Violatp

                    The Elmwod Park Angelo Caputo's is about three miles from A&G. I happened to be in both yesterday. Caputo's had leaf at $1.49/lb. versus $0.79/lb. at A&G. Next week it could easily be the other way around. Leafy greens prices have been even more volatile than normal in these two stores lately. The escarole prices have been pretty wild all winter.

                    1. re: Eldon Kreider

                      Yeah, I ended up at a Jewel and a Dominick's today and their produce prices were just all over the place. Picked up another head of iceberg for $1.99 - heavier than the last one I bought, but still probably only two salads worth vs. my usual three.

                      I just really like iceberg!

            2. Fresh lettuce? As opposed to frozen lettuce? Freeze dried? Canned? Pickled? I didn't realize there were other options.

              2 Replies
              1. re: carolinadawg

                Meaning naked, unprocessed lettuce, as opposed to precut and bagged or otherwise processed lettuce.

                1. re: carolinadawg

                  Heads of fresh lettuce in the produce section.

                2. $1.48 for a large head of iceburg last week in central Florida.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                    I almost broke down and bought a fat crispy green head of iceberg@Winco for 99 cents for wedges with salad dressing. BUT just in the nick of time I spotted luscious romaine heads ($2.00 something a pound) and snatched one up