‘I tried to find fruit and veg in Huddersfield during food shortage and all I found was grapes’

I never loved sprouts as a child and although I’ve made a grudging acquaintance with carrots and other fruit and veg over the years, I wouldn’t miss them apart from roast potatoes and parsnips with my Sunday roast.

But even I felt compelled to check out my local Sainsbury’s fruit and veg aisles in Huddersfield town centre when I heard there was a national shortage. Environment secretary Therese Coffey said government officials expect food shortages “will last about another two to four weeks” – citing weather in Europe and North Africa for crop failures.

The shortage of fruit and vegetables has been blamed on poor harvests in southern Spain and Morocco due to inclement weather. She said shoppers should consider eating turnips as a shortage of fruit and vegetables. She said people “would be eating turnips right now” if the UK was more focused on seasonal eating.

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She was responding to an urgent question in the House of Commons on ongoing food shortages of some items including tomatoes. Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Morrisons are rationing the number of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and other fresh food that people can buy.

A sad and lonely lettuce at Sainsbury's in Market Street, Huddersfield town centre
A sad and lonely lettuce at Sainsbury’s in Market Street, Huddersfield town centre
(Image: Robert Sutcliffe/Reach)

I’m not sure I have ever eaten a turnip so can’t say I will be adding that to my shopping basket but I certainly enjoy peppers and grilled tomatoes with bacon along with my ‘beer and curry diet’ as one friend called it.

And now it’s getting warmer my tastebuds certainly flickered with excitement when I saw the signs for black seedless grapes and other delicious fruits.

But my vegetable adventure was a none-started from the off. Many of the fruit and veg shelves were completely bare.

No single mangoes at 85p per unit, there were two boxes of plum punnets at 95p per unit but its sister shelf advertising them was empty, single oranges were out of stock and ditto Easy Peelers at £1.35 for a bag. There was one sad looking cauliflower that I almost bought out of sheer pity.

Empty fruit and veg shelves at Sainsbury's in Huddersfield town centre
Empty fruit and veg shelves at Sainsbury’s in Huddersfield town centre
(Image: Robert Sutcliffe/Reach)

Somehow, I will survive and when you think about it, we love nothing better as a nation than a good old-fashioned food scare.

One of my friends, Mick O’Brien, over in Huddersfield from his residence at his mother’s in Halifax, said: “I do love vegetables and I love to cook so I have had to be particularly ingenious in rooting out my favourite veg.

“But it’s been fun actually. Finding shops that do stock what you want so I mustn’t grumble.”

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YorkshireLive – Halifax