EXETER, Calif. — The freeze in California that damaged and destroyed more than $1 billion worth of crops is having a chilling effect on fresh produce prices. Retailers said they are passing along hefty increases for California-grown produce to consumers. “When the freeze happened, we had California navel oranges on sale for 39 cents per pound,” said Vince Ottolino, produce buyer for Caputo's Fresh Market, Elmwood Park, Ill. “Now, they've gone up about three times more.” Because market ...
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