A campaign to put potatoes back on the menu in Irish homes is being launched by the government, after sales of the national vegetable fell to an all-time low.
The humble spud has been neglected in recent years, with the wide range of foods from around the world now readily available in supermarkets.
Many now consider potatoes to be a boring source of carbs compared to Asian rice dishes or continental pasta. There is also a growing perception that the potato is fattening, which is totally inaccurate as they are virtually fat-free and contain no cholesterol.
The potato has been a staple part of Irish diet for centuries. A succession of failed crops in the mid 1800s was the cause of the ‘Great Famine’, in which millions starved to death and millions more were forced to emigrate.
It seems now though, that Irish families are turning their backs on national favourites colcannon or Irish stew in favour of the more exotic Thai curries, jerk chicken or minestrone tortellini.
The potato industry is under serious threat if this trend continues so the Irish food board, Bord Bia, is launching a €1m campaign to change people’s eating habits and get them back to their roots.
Tom Hayes of the Department of Agriculture said: “Promotion is now the way forward and the industry should invest in information and promotion measures to stimulate consumer demand for our national Irish crop.”
Bord Bia ran a successful campaign to change consumer perceptions of eggs recently with the “One a day is OK!”
campaign. That was a huge success and the hopes are that a similar thing can be done with the potato.
So, boiled spuds for dinner anyone?