Sprouts Grocery store recently posted some news that must be devastating for the people who grow our food. Do you remember the recent freezing temperatures throughout the state of California in early February? The damage caused to the growers who supply Sprouts was grim.
“Tomatoes: The open-field beefsteaks, vine-ripes and romas were a complete loss. (About 60% of the beefsteaks and vine-ripes are grown in open fields, and about 85% of the romas.) Grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes were also a total loss. Only vine-on tomatoes seem to have fared well and remain in strong supply.
Beans: Nearly 95% of the crops were lost.
Vegetables: Among the hardest-hit were green bell peppers (70-80% lost), cucumbers (80-90% lost in shade houses, 100% in open fields), eggplant (a major loss, and it is too late to replant for this season) and squash (85-90% lost). Alone among the vegetables, colored bell peppers seem to have done pretty well, although there will still probably be a little spottiness in their availability.”
This loss will affect the cost and availability of produce for the next 6 months. We like to get our produce at cheap prices, but do we really know the real cost to growers and the laborers in the fields? When you see higher prices at the grocery store in the months ahead, remember that growers lost weeks of critical time along with the frozen crops. Remember that crops had to be replanted by people earning very low wages who work under difficult conditions. In other words, have compassion.
Compassion is a virtue Christians are instructed to cultivate. “Clothe yourselves with compassion…” (Col. 3:12) Instead of complaining when you check out, be a witness for the compassionate gospel of Christ.
Our lives are tied to the land; let’s take care of it!