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Price of produce on the rise

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Posted: Mar 25, 2011 5:59 PM by Rob Krieger
Updated: Mar 25, 2011 5:59 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Food, Price, Tomatoes, Southside Produce, Izzo's, Zeeland Street Market

BATON ROUGE- The price of produce is tipping the scales in some stores. Tomatoes now sell for double their normal price because of wintry weather earlier in the year.

"The prices are reflecting the freeze that happened in the latter part of January, the first part of February in the growing areas, California, Florida and Texas," said Andy Pizzolato, who runs Southside Produce on Perkins Road.

The price increase is also affecting restaurants. Izzo's Illegal Burritos recently pulled tomatoes from the line briefly because of the cost.

"The tomatoes were gone for a little while, we took them off the line to save ourselves a little cost, but now they're back and they're not going anywhere," said Patrick Foy, manager at the restaurant.

It's a price increase that may be around for a while.

"Food prices will continue to go up until the growing areas catch up, all the blooms were lost on the plants and that's the reason it's taking so long to catch back up," said Pizzolato.

Despite the prices, many restaurants still intend to offer tomatoes without passing on any increase to customers.

"No matter what price it gets to you still have to have a tomato in your sandwich or a tomato in your salad Zeeland Street still has to buy it no matter what price it goes to," said Stephanie Phares, who works at Zeeland Street Market.

Prices of cucumbers have quadrupled and eggplants are also scarce because of the early year freeze.

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