Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

A brief history of lettuce

Lettuce was the first fresh produce that Americans were able to buy any day or week of the year. Prior to this, they relied on root vegetables like cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Lettuce exploded onto the culinary scene when growers in California's Salinas Valley figured out how to send train cars filled with iceberg lettuce across the continent to diners in New York City, Boston, and Chicago. Iceberg has the unique ability to stay crisp and fresh if its ambient temperature is maintained at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 C). It has a long shelf life of 21-26 days, fourteen of which were needed to reach Chicago at the time. The Salinas Valley also had access to electricity to power ice-making plants, where 30,000 pounds of ice were produced daily to fill the rail cars, below and above the lettuces.

By the 1950s iceberg lettuce was the most commonly consumed lettuce in the U.S., with average per capita consumption around 20 pounds. Refrigeration technology developed to the point that iceberg lettuce was even shipped to American soldiers in Vietnam.

But then, the iceberg growers and packers, who were always looking to improve their business model, realized that not all heads of lettuce got fully eaten because they were only ever sold in a full-head form. That led to the next revolutionary invention -- that of bagged salad greens.

Publication date: 7/12/2018



Other news in this sector:

7/20/2018 New foot switch pipe-rail trolleys is more ergonomic
7/20/2018 Hand-held grape tomato slicer
7/20/2018 “Salads: From sidekick to superhero”
7/16/2018 Mini cucumbers: two branches, one product
7/16/2018 Root enhancer activates roots without hormones
7/13/2018 "Universal paper provides fragile roots excellent protection"
7/11/2018 Malaysia: White strawberries from Cameron Highlands
7/10/2018 Cucumbers and blackberries clipped to the wire
7/10/2018 Double role for organic horticulture yarns: plant support and compost
7/9/2018 Canadian grower pleased with first Tomberry results
7/4/2018 Angus Soft Fruit's Ava Star strawberry variety is a winner
6/28/2018 Awards for striped peppers and snack cucumbers at United Fresh
6/26/2018 Italy: Aromatic herbs gain in popularity
6/25/2018 Spain: Super-sweet baby plum vine tomato
6/22/2018 Award-Winning grape tomato now offered in organic
6/20/2018 Novel lettuces for Paraguayan consumers
6/14/2018 Canadian ready-to-eat salad producer expands line
6/14/2018 "New prefab cable connection more resistant to greenhouse influences"
6/13/2018 Sweet pepper soon to be available to North American shoppers
6/11/2018 Why is a ‘pepper’ different from ‘pepper’?