Why Is This Ordinary Item Missing From Produce Sections in Lubbock?
This problem isn't really a problem at all; it's just weird.
I shop at multiple United Supermarkets. I like to hit Market Street early on the weekend, do fill-in shopping at 4th & Slide, and visit Amigos for quick trips as well as stuff you can't get at the other stores. Yes, I'm a spokesman, but it's because I was already one of United's biggest fans already.
So I thought it very odd when I went to Market Street this past Sunday morning and they were out of some produce I pick up every week. I even asked one of my favorite produce guys and he said, "we didn't get any this week."
Later that day, after my wife reminded me of what we forgot, we hit up 4th & Slide, and remarkably they were also out of the item. I once again asked the friendly produce guy and he again said they just didn't get any.
None of this would be that weird, but I'm talking about something that has been in every supermarket produce section I've ever been in. I didn't think the item was rare, weird, or hard to get. So, can you guess what it is?
Here's the big reveal. The answer is green onions (also known as scallions).
I really like to have green onions on hand to use with Asian food, chicken salad, and a few other things. Neither store had any green onions at all. To me, that's like walking into the store and the store not having lettuce or beef. It's just something you expect to be there every time.
United Supermarkets does not mess around, so I decided to do a little digging. I found a site that focuses on fresh produce and they claim "the hurricane" is keeping farmers from getting the onions from the field and that the quality is fair to poor at best.
Whether this is the explanation or not, it's not really a problem. I just grabbed some regular onions and moved on. What is interesting though is if we have a real shortage or if this is one of those things that is just getting blown up because we became so used to weird stuff being in short supply due to the pandemic. My guess is that this was just a blip and that we'll be knee-deep in green onions very soon.