News - July 2, 2020

Corona spuds

Coretta Jongeling

Photo Sven Menschel

The coronavirus lockdown has caused many potato farmers huge headaches as the market collapsed for spuds intended for French fries. Restaurants and cafes were shut, festivals cancelled and borders closed. A billion kilos of potatoes had nowhere to go. That’s a pity, thought sustainable food chains programme manager Toine Timmermans of Food & Biobased Research. Of course you can make animal feed from them and there was a plan to convert the potatoes into disinfectant gel but those potatoes were grown to be eaten. Various organizations worked on a rescue plan, and that resulted in piles of potatoes in 12 locations in the Netherlands last Saturday. You could collect what you wanted in return for a donation. What didn’t get taken went to foodbanks.