Jun
18

STICKER SHOCK The Price Of Celery

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A man went out of his house to pick up the morning newspaper from the lawn and noticed one bunch of celery stalks on his porch.  This went on for a  week.  Finally he called the police, “I think I’m being stalked!”  Today, the last thing people would be doing with celery is giving it away.  In case you haven’t noticed, the average price of the stalks in Canada has jumped 300%, taking a celery bunch from costing $1.98 to $5.98.  (In Newfoundland, it’s $9.99 each).  So what’s behind it all?  Well, like all other economic commodities, it comes down to supply-and-demand.

Less Supply – There is a dietetic reason as to why celery does not occupy a larger part of the supermarket aisle re green vegetables.  This is because the darker-coloured greens have more nutrients in them, due to containing greater amounts of sun-rich chlorophyll.  So the lighter-coloured greens have generally been viewed as less of a food stable and more like a food additive.  This in turn is why farmers in California (where most of our celery comes from) have never grown a lot of it. And now add to this the weather factor of a recent cold-and-damp growing season, resulting in fewer and thinner stalks coming out of the ground, and you have even less celery in the store than before.  All meaning – the fewer you have of something, the greater the price it will be. Now this explains the supply side, but what about the sudden rise in celery demand?

More Demand – The current high craze for celery can be traced back to Anthony Williams, a self-described medical medium.  Williams, based in the United States, has a massive social media following of some millions of people (including a number of famous celebrity devotees).  He has no scientific or medical background, but claims to receive his knowledge from a mystical spirit who provides him with “advanced nutritional information” that is unavailable to the secularly-trained and academically-taught professional dieticians of this world.  And in the year 2015, Williams claims he was told that the one key to all health is – celery juice:

For those who are well, drink one 16-ounce glass of celery juice (total from one celery stalk bunch) each morning before you eat anything else and you’ll continue to feel fine  For those who are ill, drink two 16-ounce glasses of celery juice (total from two celery stalk bunches) each morning before you eat anything else and you’ll be cured of just about whatever is ailing you.

In particular, Williams talks of something found in celery called, “sodium cluster salts”.  He says that the spirit told him this herb is what does the trick.  (A survey of dieticians revealed none have ever heard of such a salt)   But juice shops have, and they can’t keep up with the demand (resulting in the cost of celery stalks going from $20 a box to up to $120 a container) even though celery itself is basically water (98%).

The bottom line?  And we all thought that “veggie-tales” was just something for the children.