The Sting

French Fry Fiasco in Europe

Belgium has a direct sense of pride with this cuisine. Credit: AppliTek.com

Belgium has a direct sense of pride with this cuisine. Credit: AppliTek.com

Fernando Castillo, Staff Writer, Member of Team-Building Leadership, Member of Graphics Team

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When a country begins experiencing detrimental climate change, it could lead to plenty of disasters. In this case, it’s about food production. After a long, hot and dry season in Belgium, the United Kingdom, and France, the production of potatoes fell completely short. This is because of a lack of growth in potatoes, and as a result, french fries are expected to lose one inch in comparison to their normal size.

A lot of these problems arose for those in Belgium, who wanted to buy ordinary fries with mayonnaise (Belgium overall prefers this condiment to any other), and the ones who manufacture french fries. The economy was beginning to suffer. Due to the fries being sold a tad bit smaller than normal, the prices shot up. It can be understood that most people don’t like buying stuff that is more expensive than it normally is, especially in Belgium. This is because Belgium considers French fries as their main dish and that “it’s more than a product – it’s a symbol of Belgium,” according to Bernard Lefevre. Belgium is considered one of the largest french fry exporters to date, exporting at least one million tons of them each year. And with the shortage, not many consumers are willing to buy the product if the price increased; in addition to this, the level of competition would be lost. So if the amount of units bought is lower than expected, then the economy’s success is in jeopardy.

To put it simply, Europe is experiencing a crisis with their potatoes, and everything affected is due to climate change. It’s a scary thought, but what’s even scarier, is that climate change affects the world. If it were to happen in the United States or North America, then it would be a total disaster. When asked about his thoughts on if that happened, Senior Miles Herron said, “I would be pretty annoyed because I like my fries long and tasty.”

Of course, the problem isn’t limited to potatoes and cooking them into french fries, nor does it limit itself only to the three countries mentioned before. Livestock and other crops, like beans and spinach, are succumbing to the hot temperatures. Western parts of Germany and the Netherlands are reporting to have the same issue and are struggling to make money. Thanks to climate change, food production has been ruined and it’s affecting numerous countries. What’s worse, is that the issue may eventually get out of hand and the damage will become unrepairable. According to the Haaretz website, Belgium’s temperatures may increase 2.4-7.2 degrees by the next generation.

There has been a lot of controversy and mystery behind the origin of the french fry. Sources claim that when Belgium was part of the Spanish domain, they took some potatoes back to Europe; however, Belgium claims to have ownership of the food instead of France. Although the word “French” is in its name, both countries have French as their official language. Other sources claim that France invented this delicious dish just before the French Revolution began. Who knows if the mystery will ever be solved.

 

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