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How to keep your prized $12 iceberg lettuce fresh with aluminum foil

Susie Burrell, who has double honors in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said darker and more colorful vegetables should be preferred when budgets are tight.

The rising price of iceberg lettuce means it’s strictly necessary to avoid wasting basic salads, and one crafty mum has shared her handy tip for keeping your greens fresher for longer.

She recommended removing any plastic wrap and instead wrapping the lettuce in aluminum foil and then placing it in the freezer of your refrigerator to keep it fresh for weeks.

The moisture is trapped inside the foil and the resulting condensation is absorbed back into the salad.

But with prices for a head of iceberg lettuce skyrocketing above $10 due to inflation and flooding in the agricultural areas of Australia’s food bowl, an Australian nutritionist has shared a range of other salad toppings you could be eating instead.

Susie Burrell, who has double honors in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said darker and more colorful vegetables should be preferred when budgets are tight.

Susie Burrell, who has double honors in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said darker and more colorful vegetables should be preferred when budgets are tight.

Susie Burrell, who has a double honors degree in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said darker and more colorful vegetables should be preferred on tight budgets.

Speaking to FEMAIL, she explained that frozen spinach and kale is much cheaper and more nutritious than the humble iceberg lettuce.

They can often be had for less than $3 a pound and are more versatile because they can be “used in everything,” from smoothies to bologna, she explained.

“When budgets are so tight, you don’t have to feel like you have to spend $12 on a salad to get your nutrition,” she said.

“Iceberg lettuce is very low in calories because it’s mostly water, and while it does have some nutrients, you don’t get much for these exorbitant prices.”

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A supermarket in suburban Brisbane was pictured selling a head of iceberg lettuce for $12.99 last month.

The price hike follows a wet start to the year with unprecedented rain and flooding destroying crops in NSW and Queensland.

Some lettuce growers in Queensland have lost their third crop in a row and risk the collapse of their businesses after unprecedented rain.

A peak horticulture group has warned growers in the state’s south-east will need millions to recover from a series of natural disasters.

What can you eat instead of lettuce?

Susie’s top five replacements include:

Spinach, cabbage, rocket, blackbird and beetroot leaves.

She said they can be fresh or frozen and work in drinks like smoothies as well as in foods like bolognese and as fries.

Fast food chains have also been forced to cut back on lettuce, with KFC and Subway warning customers to expect slaw on their burgers.

Susie recommends buying cheap, nutrient-dense vegetables like carrots, spinach and kale at “a fraction of the cost.”

And he suggests giving more vegetables to roasts, while salad prices remain strong.

“If you want lettuce on a sandwich, then carrots and tomatoes are better options.”

She recommends buying canned and frozen vegetables to save where you can.

“You can buy canned tomatoes and beets, frozen spinach, cabbage and cauliflower and pick carrots for $1 a bag.

“If you have some extra money for fresh vegetables, then it’s best to buy something very colorful to get the most out of it – rather than lettuce or cucumbers, which are mostly water.”

Her “top five” of replacements for iceberg include rocket, cos and beets, as well as spinach and kale.

“If you have picky kids, you can make kale, carrot or zucchini chips,” she suggested. “Or put them in a smoothie.

Susie also recommends trying cauliflower in smoothies too – although prices for this vegetable have also risen.

“Try a few flowers if you’re trying to get more vegetables into their diet,” she said.

Susie said other expensive produce such as tomatoes and beetroot can be swapped for canned varieties to save money.

Her advice comes after a sharp rise in fruit and vegetable prices across the country.

Susie with Leanne Ward, left.  Dietitians co-host The Nutrition Couch podcast

Susie with Leanne Ward, left. Dietitians co-host The Nutrition Couch podcast

One video showing two women stacking their cart with “free” loose lettuce leaves has divided the internet, with some commenters blasting the pair while others defended their actions.

TikTok user James Longstaff posted a video captioning the now-viral footage “literally tearing green bits off every iceberg lettuce…”

The video showed the women at a salad stand in what appeared to be a Coles branch in Western Australia.

The lady’s cart was already full of lettuce leaves when the video started.

While one woman was pulling the outer leaves from heads of iceberg lettuce and putting them in a cart, the other was putting the leaves into plastic bags.

She was then seen pulling down another bag to use as a passerby stared at her wondering what was going on.

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The exorbitant price of lettuce has recently struck a chord with some commentators, who have condemned the women for “disrespecting anyone”.

The other pointed out that it wasn’t the store that was losing, it was everyone who wanted the iceberg lettuce.

“Lettuce is sold by the “each” not by the weight, so they are actually stealing from anyone who buys lettuce from them.”

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