Vegetable Crisis Gripping Europe Might Be the Tip of the Iceberg

Winter weather woes in Spainish agricultural regions caused massive European produce shortages last month. The dearth of vegetables across Europe led to price hikes and rationioning, as well as cultivated fear of future climate-induced shortages.

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  1. The rains in Spain are creating a massive pain... for European grocery shoppers.

  2. Southern Spain, often referred to as the "produce basket of Europe", has been hit hard by meteorological mishaps over the past several months. In December three years of drought gave way to massive flooding, followed by unusually cold weather throughout January and February. Some areas of Valencia and Murica even recieved snowfall, a rarity in the region, which led to widespread destruction of crops.
  3. Courgette crisis: Spanish farmers hope the worst is over | World ...
    Courgette crisis: Spanish farmers hope the worst is over | World ...
  4. MURCIA, SPAIN - JANUARY 19:  A broccoli crop is covered with snow in an agricultural field in the countryside on January 19, 2017 near Caravaca de la Cruz, in Murcia province, Spain. The cold weather has brought rare snow alerts to South East Spain. Some food suppliers and supermarkets have warned that the recent bad weather in Italy and Spain may significantly increase the price of vegetables across northern Europe.  (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
    MURCIA, SPAIN - JANUARY 19: A broccoli crop is covered with snow in an agricultural field in the countryside on January 19, 2017 near Caravaca de la Cruz, in Murcia province, Spain. The cold weather has brought rare snow alerts to South East Spain. Some food suppliers and supermarkets have warned that the recent bad weather in Italy and Spain may significantly increase the price of vegetables across northern Europe. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  5. By February markets across Europe were experiencing widespread vegetable shortages.

  6. Photos of bare produce sections and empty shelves in British supermarkets flooded the internet. Shoppers expressed woes over the #lettucecrisis and #courgettecatastrophe as they struggled to find their favorite produce in grocery stores.
  7. #lettucecrisis #survivor #fighter
    #lettucecrisis #survivor #fighter
  8. The shortages in popular produce items like courgettes (zucchini), broccoli, and lettuce caused some stores to raise prices almost 400%.

  9. Many supermarkets began enforcing produce rations in response

    to shoppers stockpiling vegetables.

  10. As the lettuce crisis continues Asda Bridgwater knock your sox off 6 per customer #lettucecrisis #getyourlettuce #lettuce #asda #lols
    As the lettuce crisis continues Asda Bridgwater knock your sox off 6 per customer #lettucecrisis #getyourlettuce #lettuce #asda #lols
  11. Britons were encouraged to ride out the shortage by purchasing local, seasonal vegetables such as artichokes, leeks, and cabbage.

  12. Milder Spanish weather in late February ameliorated some of the problems. However, many climate experts worry that the unusually bad weather in Southern Spain is a sign of long-term climate shifts.

  13. Environmetal experts believe that melting polar ice caps cause shifts in the Atlantic gulf stream, a massive current that brings warm tropical water to the Western European coast. This can lead to unseasonably cold and wet weather througout Spain and Southern France, spelling disaster for the massive agricultural operations in these regions.
  14. The UK-based Food Ethics Council has criticized the British government for not sufficiently addressing climate-related food security issues. However, these recent produce shortages may be an incentive for European leaders to pay greater attention to the impacts of climate change.
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