If you've noticed fewer leafy greens in the grocery store, there's a reason for that. The country is currently experiencing a shortage of peppery baby arugula, ABC News reports. According to The Counter, the shortfall of arugula is due to the "unexpectedly cold and wet winter weather facing growers throughout the Southwest." The wet conditions created a fungal disease known as downy mildew, which has caused arugula crops to suffer.

Fresh Arugula Leaves
Credit: Maciej Nicgorski/Getty Images

Vice president Mike Del Bene of Del Bene, a wholesale arugula producer based in Detroit, told The Counter that this is "the most intense arugula shortage the company has experienced in nearly 30 years."

The majority of arugula producers are based in the Southwest and in Florida; however, the effects of the shortage have been felt in restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers' markets nationwide. While the winter months are typically dry in the Southwest, greater rainfall amounts than usual have caused the mildew to thrive, which is likely due to climate change.

"Chances are, the further away from Florida and the desert Southwest you are, the less likely you are to find arugula at the grocery store right now," writes Jessica Fu for The Counter. On Twitter, many users have noted that they've seen an arugula shortage in their own communities, ranging from southern California to New York City. If you find arugula on shelves in your local grocery store, you may want to grab a few bags and enjoy it while you can—it might be a few months before it's readily available again.


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