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Iceberg Lettuce is Given the Cold Shoulder

Plastic wrapped, large round balls of iceberg lettuce were always present in my childhood fridge. However as I got older my beloved iceberg was replaced by romaine, spinach, arugula and even bitter greens. Turns out I'm not the only who turned their back on iceberg. Although it is still the nation's most prominent lettuce, iceberg has taken a back seat to other varied greens instead.

In 2006, 174,600 acres of iceberg lettuce were harvested in the United States, down from 198,500 acres in 1998, the first year for which U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics were available.

During the same period, the amount of harvested romaine lettuce increased from 36,450 acres to 61,000 acres. Green and red leaf lettuce harvests increased from 46,220 acres to 71,100 acres.

So why the sad slide into lettuce oblivion? At one point, iceberg was the only lettuce robust enough to make the supermarket journey without being damaged by ice. In fact, it actually received its name from the ice-filled train cars which shipped lettuce out. However, now that transportation and farming technology has advanced, more delicate greens - which once had to be consumed closer to home - can make the journey as well.

To entice customers, the country's largest lettuce supplier (Tanimura and Antle) is packaging its iceberg lettuce in plastic patterned with baseball stitching and including recipes for wedge salads printed on baseball cards.

Source: Topix

missyukp missyukp 10 years
You pretty much have to use iceberg lettuce for any type of lettuce wraps you make (my favorite!). It holds the shape of the wrap better and it doesn't mess with your flavors. I love the crisp, refreshing texture.
smartypantssugar smartypantssugar 10 years
That baseball lettuce is freaking me out. I guess kids will eat it that way, but it really grosses me out.
steen steen 10 years
I actually like iceberg-based salads A LOT better than mixed greens. I'm a fan of plain old iceberg lettuce with some tomatoes and dressing. Very simple and tasty.
Advah Advah 10 years
I had never heard of/tasted iceberg lettuce before arriving in the UK. I like the fact it's crispy and juicy, but sometimes it's a bit too much like chewing water (and it tooke me a while to figure out how to properly wash the leaves). How I miss the reaaally tasty green lettuces from home though..
scandalousxshann scandalousxshann 10 years
iceberg is yummy! whats with all the hatred?
arcticred arcticred 10 years
Iceberg definitely has it's place; lettuce wraps (mmmmm), tacos, wedge salads... I could eat a whole head as a crunchy yummy snack on a hot day! For most salads though - nothing beats a mixed bag of organic baby greens. Phasekitty - it's not bad for you - it's just not as nutritionally rich as other types of greens (because it's mostly water), which is why your tortoise needed more of the dark rich leafy greens (the more color the better it is for you!)
Phasekitty Phasekitty 10 years
I used to eat it growing up, but I was under the impression that iceberg lettuce is bad for you? Maybe I'm just taking information from the wrong source, but when I got my tortoise a few years ago, they told me to feed her any kind of green lettuce but iceberg, and I quote, "If it's not good for you, it's definitely not good for her." I saw similar warnings when I did research on tortoise food, so now that I buy lettuce for both of us, I don't buy iceberg anymore.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
I was thinking that iceberg has no good use, but reading these comments makes me second guess myself. It's true, I suppose, that on a good, juicy burger the crunch of a leaf or two of iceberg does make it good!
sls1825 sls1825 10 years
Although I don't eat iceberg as much as when I was younger, I still use it quite a bit.
rb24 rb24 10 years
I dont like iceburg. Not enough crunch
ravenlily ravenlily 10 years
over the years i have preferred fresh spinach to iceberg in my salads.
rainonme224 rainonme224 10 years
I don't mind iceberg but I prefer spinach or romaine.
Rain-Moon Rain-Moon 10 years
I love Iceberg, as well as other greens, but you can't beat that crispy, crunchiness of it. Oh, an, Iceberg Wedge with home made bleu cheese dressing and crumbled bacon sounds fabulous just about now!!!
jhuck jhuck 10 years
There was only iceberg in my fridge growing up. Now my roomate only buys other greens, and I do miss the iceberg sometimes.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I love romaine and spinach - more flavor and more uses.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
I would love a salad right now. Iceberg lettuce is the only kind I like!
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
I love iceberg on my BLTs. I grew up eating only iceberg, so sometimes it just hits the spot.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
Yeah iceberg is only useful for a few things in my book. I prefer a hardy green salad.
jmmst49 jmmst49 10 years
This doesn't surprise me but at my house we always have both. My refuses to eat any type of lettuce besides ice berg.
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