The Latest Hot Summer Food-Shortage Scare Involves Brussels Sprouts

By Tom Pritchard on at

The past several weeks have seen plenty of stories about how our obnoxiously hot and dry summer will lead to shortages of various foods, including cheese and onion crisps, cheese, peas, and even Christmas trees. Now there's a new product to worry about, with a similarly Christmassy theme. Turns out we might be short of sprouts this Christmas.

I am utterly disgusted at this news, and couldn't imagine a Christmas where my mother doesn't try to force me to eat the miniature cabbages while I adamantly refuse - because I'm a grown man in my 20s and refuse to eat food I don't actually like.

According to farmer the extended period of hot dry weather has led to a “hostile environment”, meaning planting this year's batch of sprouts isn't going to as easy as normal. While the plant isn't nearly as sensitive as some things, the fact only ever eat them at Christmas means it's essential to plant everything at the right time. Otherwise you end up with a surplus of sprouts after Christmas, which is a bit like investing in pumpkins and not having them on sale by Halloween.

Jack Ward, chief executive of the British Growers Association, told the Huffington post:

“With sprouts, you are trying to hit peak production around Christmas which is why it’s so difficult.

“It also gets more problematic if you have too much warmth in the run up to Christmas. If it’s too warm, you could end up with sprouts at the start of December that were destined for the second and third week."

Similar problems affect other winter vegetables, like carrots and potatoes, though the ongoing demand for them means timing isn't quite so urgent. That's not to say farmers aren't having issues thanks to the weather. It's all because of that snow in March, rain in April, and the fact we currently live in a cloud-less wasteland. [Huffington Post]