This Whole Global Food Crisis Is Affecting Grub Street’s Lunch

Hoomoos Asli: No sauteed egpplant for you.
Hoomoos Asli: No sauteed egpplant for you. Photo: Youngna Park

Just about every morning we bring you some gruesome update to this global food crisis the U.N. just warned about (a combination of wonky weather worldwide, political unrest, economic conditions, and other factors), yet even to us, it all usually feels a little abstract. Until now. For lunch today, Grub Street wanted nothing more than to tromp through the sunshine to Hoomoos Asli for a hearty and wholesome Health Sandwich (we’re trying to consume more vitamins these days), but horrors, we skipped inside only to find the shop was out of eggplant. The friendly counterman explained that yes, he was afraid there would be no Health Sandwiches today, but would we like some baba ganoush instead?

It seems the larger eggplants used to make the sauteed sandwich filling come from Mexico, and thanks to unprecedentedly freezing temperatures in the Sinaloa region, the eggplant crop has been decimated. “You have to buy them individually” right now, the counterman said, “they’re really expensive.” A little while ago tomato and lettuce prices had been up, he also reported, though happily the falafel sandwich we wound up with contained the former. At least at Asli, you’ll have to get your eggplant fix in the form of baba ganoush: That’s made from the long and narrow Spanish eggplant, and prices for those are still okay.