Forsyth MO – It's mid July 2016 and while I was visiting a local grocery store in Forsyth Missouri I had listed bell peppers on my shopping list as an item to purchase. I wanted to prepare a stuffed bell pepper recipe that I also thought would be fun to post that on one of my blogs!
It being mid summer and all, I figured that about a a lot of fresh produce would be hitting seasonal lows at my area stores. Unfortunately, that was not the case with the peppers. The green peppers I saw on that date were really minuscule and were selling for .89 cents each! Whoa! I thought. Was this another example of the California drought disaster? A quick inquiry on the all knowing internet did not yield me any good clues. As a matter of fact, a review of past pepper purchases I made over the last year showed that prices, if anything, had averaged higher in price per green pepper! Even back in 2009, I saw records that indicated I had paid .69 cents for one! WTF? I wondered. More research was needed here, for sure!
One thing appeared certain and that was that prices could be affected by weather related problems in the regions where they are grown as well as by the price of gasoline. Still, I felt like I needed to investigate a little further. Bad weather in some parts of the northern hemisphere were certainly a factor, as I discovered in this article in The Packer. Commodities availability for bell peppers was cited as 'fairly low' with poor harvests cited as one reason. See the most recent reports here.
A two days later, I ventured back to the same store to see if I could snag the Produce Mgr and perhaps gain some additional insights from him. Lucky for me, I did run into the manager and he informed me that the wholesaler that they buy from got a bee in his bonnet to buy from locally grown sources. oh oh, I thought. The thing is, the peppers grown in Missouri and Arkansas don't even hold a candle to those that arrive from Texas and Mexico... yet we pay the same prices for what amounts to an inferior product! So, I plan to avoid buying any more of these guys until the fall when our southern supplies will once again flow!