An Apple shortage, and we mean the fruit not a certain manufacturer's gadgets, has led to a bump in price. In the UK regulations in place usually limit the quality of apples that can be sold. This can result in many perfectly tasty and edible apples being rejected. Some will be used as a by product or cooked for pies, for example.
In 2012 with a shortage in the supply of apples the regulations are being relaxed.
The advice is do not simply reject apples on sale in supermarkets and the like if they merely have a blemish on the skin. It may only be cosmetic and the apples could be just as fresh, tasty, good for you, sweet and juicy as a perfect apple.
Without this relaxation of the regulations consumers will face empty supermarket shelves, as far as apples go, and inflated prices. We do wonder though if selling slightly sub standard fruit this way will leave a shortage in the fruit for juices, pies and by products.
Many consumers may say so what to a shortage of apples? Well this blogger scoffs one each day on the daily bus ride home from work. Apples are good for your teeth and you. They have few calories and plenty of vitamins.
If the only apples available in your budget are imperfect ones try stewing them. Simply wash and peel. Chop or slice and cook with a little sugar. The amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the apples. Once "stewed" serve hot with rice pudding or custard. Chill what is left and serve with ice cream or on breakfast cereal. Use these apples in pies, tarts and "crumbles" also.
The reason for the shortage of apples is mainly the strange weather of 2012. In the UK a very dry Spring followed by a very wet Summer has led to many crop shortages. In the USA drought and extreme heat is the culprit in some States. Wherever the food shortages are in 2012, it is mostly the weather that is to blame.
Expect the prices of many food products to increase sharply.
In the UK there is an additional problem of skill shortages in the Apple growing industry. We have become dependent on economic migrants working in our Orchards, for example. Those from Bulgaria and Poland may soon opt to stay in their home country as the industry improves there.
In Europe the value of the Euro, wild fires and other economic woes are also creating crop shortages.