‘We’ve tried really hard’: Climate change impacts holiday pies this year

HAYDEN, Idaho — Apple, cherry and pumpkin–no matter how you slice it, pie bakers are feeling the pinch because of ingredient shortages.

“Some of the struggles with this Thanksgiving pie season have been tracking down some ingredients and some items,” said Sharee Moss, owner of Birdie’s Pie Shop.

The basic ingredients they needed are just harder to find this year.

“Graham cracker is one that we used in our cookie crumb crust and we have it pretty ground up in a crumb version,” Moss said. “We ordered it back in August and it still didn’t get here in time.

WSU Adjunct Researcher David Gustafson said some of the ingredients have been affected by climate change.

“Across the board, crops here in the northwest, in particular, were hit hard by the heat dome obviously. But, the drought extended way down into California and had very large impacts on crops as well,” Gustafson said.

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Honey, a major ingredient in graham crackers, had problems because of climate issues.

“Especially this year with the drought and heat and smoke that we had here in the northwest and up and down the coast has severely decreased the colonies, decreased the amount of honey produced,” Gustafson said.

Birdie’s saw an increase in the cost of the ingredients they were able to find. To make sure the prices of the pies weren’t affected, they had to eat up some of the costs.

“Our lower margins are a little tighter and things, but we didn’t want to try and portray that markup to our customers,” Moss said. “We love our frequent buyers and we wanted to make sure to take care of them.”

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