Nfld. & Labrador

Cauliflower, celery costing $7: Who can afford to eat healthy?

Bad weather and the lame loonie have driven up the cost of some vegetables, and the advice to consumers is to look for cheaper nutritional substitutes.

Switch to frozen veggies, says nutritionist

Prices are climbing for fruits and vegetables at stores like Colemans in Corner Brook. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Grocery shoppers in Newfoundland and Labrador are paying a lot more for food this winter, and it's not because they're buying prime rib or scallops.

The price for a head of cauliflower was $6.99 at Colemans in Corner Brook on Thursday. 

A bunch of celery cost the same. 

$7.99 for a head of cauliflower at Sobeys. (CBC)

"There's a bit of a perfect storm going on with the low Canadian dollar and the drought out in California and other places, and it made an impact on some of the costs for sure," said produce manager Byron Bellows.

Sticker shock at Colemans, when it comes to celery. (CBC)

"You adjust accordingly, which you have to do."

Nutritionist Stephanie Buckle is advising shoppers to choose cheaper substitutes.

"We look at choosing frozen vegetables and canned vegetables because they are just as healthy," she said, encouraging cooks to get creative. 

The produce manager at Colemans, Byron Bellows, says you can blame bad weather in places like California and the low Canadian dollar. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"It's just probably finding recipes where you incorporate those vegetables maybe in a casserole or something like that."

It pays to shop around, as well, she said. 

While organic cauliflower was selling for $7.99 at Dominion on Thursday, you could buy the regular kind for $3.

With files from Colleen Connors

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