Belgians are being urged to eat fries at least twice a week due to a surplus of potatoes in the small European country amid the COVID-19 Corona-virus pandemic.
The country is known for its national dish of Belgian frites, twice-fried potatoes that are a popular item in bars and restaurants.
Romain Cools, secretary general of potato industry body Belgapom, said that around 750,000 tons of potatoes will not be able to be processed due to the pandemic.
There has been a decrease in demand in the frozen potato sector, which comprises 75% of Belgium’s potato processing.
We’re working with supermarkets to see whether we can launch a campaign asking Belgians to do something for the sector by eating fries – especially frozen fries – we are trying to to avoid food waste, because every lost potato is a loss.
Fresh potatoes and snack products make up the remaining 25% of the country’s potato industry, which seems to be doing well during the lock down, as people are spending more time cooking and snacking.
As for any unprocessed potatoes, they are either being sent to food banks or being exported to Central Europe and Africa, which are currently facing potato shortages. Unprocessed potatoes may also be processed into animal feed or bio-fuel.
The drop in demand for potatoes has caused Belgium to ask for support from the European Commission for the first time in the country’s history.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Food News 2020.