Panic At The Frialator: Poor Potato Harvest Could Lead To French Fry Shortage
Are you in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you? We’re sorry, there’s no time to wait for a response, so here we go: poor potato harvests across the country could lead to a french fry shortage. Or it could lead to french fry inflation as restaurants try to keep up with demand. Or it could lead to America having to rely on Canadian french fries. Or nothing will happen and you won’t notice any difference. Are you feeling fry-tened now?
Bloomberg reports that cold weather and the impact of Hurricane Dorian has damaged potato crops in the United States. They write that “as the wild weather hurt crops, an increase in fry-processing capacity in Canada has boosted demand. The combination will lead to tight supplies, and it’s likely that potato prices could climb this year across North America.”
In a recent report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts domestic potato output will drop 6.1% this year to the lowest point since 2010. Idaho, the top potato producer in the country, is estimated to drop 5.5% on its own. North Dakota and Minnesota had to abandon some of their potato supplies because of the weather, and it’s also bad in Canada—the United Potato Growers of Canada estimates about 18% of Manitoba’s planted area was left unharvested.
Not all Canadians are worried though: the general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada told Bloomberg it was “a manageable situation,” so we are choosing not to freak out too much just yet. We’ve seen such shortages come and go and people in the Hamptons are still drinking rosé, so just breathe.
If you are worried, you could learn how to make fries of your own with an air fryer, or you could make it a priority to visit one of NYC‘s best french fry places posthaste. And there’s always cauliflower fries should we never see potatoes again.