Later, taters! Irish abandoning potatoes in record numbers
You say 'potato,' and Irish say 'penne'
It was a love affair the world thought would never end — but what was once a feast is becoming a famine.
No, not that famine.
But all too true, the Irish appetite for potatoes is in a free-fall, according to just-released farm reports. And no matter how you slice them, boil them, bake them, mash them, or French fry them — the spuds are duds with their onetime best customers on the Emerald Isle.
Shoppers in the Republic of Ireland have cut their potato purchases by more than 10 percent in the last quarter and are spending almost 20 percent less than they were a year ago, according to market research firm TNS.
Lorcan Bourke, business analyst at the horticulture division of the Irish Food Board, told The Grocer magazine that shoppers were increasingly choosing rice and pasta, which they perceived as easier to cook than potatoes.
"It seems unreal," said a grocer in Donegal who had bins filled with ready-to-whatever taters. "When my Da' owned the place, we'd sell a fresh lot every day. But now, you've got..."
The British, of course. And that means things are getting ugly.
Just last week, an enraged group of Irish farmers stormed a meeting of Ireland's giant supermarket chain Tesco’s, demanding that the retailer stop selling British potatoes at its Irish stores.
Around 30 potato growers burst into a meeting at a County Meath hotel attended by Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy and 200 managers. The farmers brandished bags of imported "Desiree" potatoes, which they claimed are displacing Irish potatoes on Tesco shelves around the country.
Irish Farmers' Association president Padraig Walshe was boiling mad: "Growers cannot stay in business because of Tesco's ruthless pursuit of profit and market share. The persistent pressure on the price paid to the producer will inevitably lead to thousands of job losses and will put Irish producers of local, fresh produce out of business."
The potatoes being sold were identical to Irish "roosters," that were plentiful in the Republic at this time, and there was no need for them to be imported, he added.
Police were called to the scene, but the protesters agreed to leave peacefully.
Of course, the nation's agriculture experts say the shift in Irish eating habits was hurting sales of British potatoes, too — a fact that did not rile the Irish farmers one bit.
"Don't these people know anything about Irish history and the importance of potatoes," asked a fit-to-be-fried Tesco protester.
Indeed, there's plenty of truth in that.
The Irish government recently designated May 17, 2009 as the first National Famine Memorial Day. On that day, Irish people throughout the world remembered and honored the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger – which to this day remains one of the most lethal famines of the modern era.
Out of a population of eight-and-a-half million — which had grown and flourished because of the abundant Irish potato's remarkable nutritional value — over one million people died, and approximately two million people emigrated between 1845 and 1851. Ireland was changed forever.
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Notre Dame sues federal government again...
- Smithwick inquiry finds Irish police may...
- Why Ireland needs to give its emigrants a...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Amazing story of how Choctaw Indians raised...
- 'Danny Boy' turns 100 and the experts explain...
- Sarah Jessica Parker opens her heart to grievin
- Obama relative gets personal special deal...
- Most Americans are in favor of immigration...
How about a little realism? This is not a "birth control" issue but an issue of "abortion as a form of birth control". It is knownCaroline Kennedy “selfie” in Japan reveals a new and much happier woman
The best pub to meet up for a few cold ones would be "The Spaniard" in Belfast ...Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
I think Hutchinson failed in his Geography lessons....since when was IRELAND ever in BRITAIN ? SHOW HIM A MAP !!! You might as well ask The Israelis tMartin O’Neill admits Irish players had doubts about Roy Keane
"Keano" is keen. Roy is known throughout Europe as a hard worker and winner. He has a history of challenging coaches. Whoever these players