Idaho Stuck With Mountains of Potatoes with Nowhere to Go
It's a problem I never thought about during the pandemic, but Idaho is stuck with mountains of potatoes that couldn't be produced into French Fries as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down restaurants. Now the question is "what to do with them" so they don't go to waste.
The answer is not simple. According to an article on KTVB, the potato supply is from the 2019 harvest and Julie VanOrden of the Idaho Potato Commision says
A lot of the potatoes are sitting in cellars waiting to be processed into French Fried potatoes and when all that shut down, a of a sudden we have 100 million sacks of spuds just sitting out there and they are only going to store for so long.
It seems like the easy solution is to give the potatoes to food banks, but apparently they will most likely spoil before they get to people in need.
The potatoes also can't just easily be fed to farm animals like cattle, because it would make them sick. They have to process and break down before they can be consumed by livestock and again that takes time we don't have.
VanOrden says as consumers the best thing we can do to help out is to eat as many French Fries as we can. An order to eat French Fries?! I think I can handle that!