What is 'Spudpocalypse'? US warned it's headed for massive potato shortage
The aggressive campaign by a Canadian organization named 'Stop the Spudpocalypse' warns that the US may soon experience a potato shortage
An aggressive campaign undertaken by the PEI Potato Board, a Canadian organization, says that there might soon be a shortage of potatoes in the US soon. in reaction to the US Department of Agriculture's decision to ban potato shipments from a Canadian island, the campaign speaks of the 'spudpocalypse'. Visitors to the campaign's website are encouraged to submit an email to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, requesting that potato exports from Canada be allowed back into the United States.
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province famed for its potatoes, which generate $1.3 billion in revenue each year. According to Greg Donald, general manager of the island's potato board, the island's farmers transport between 250 million and 300 million pounds of potatoes to the United States each year. In the past, Massachusetts was the second-largest American market for potatoes, but a Canadian export embargo enforced in November brought the potato pipeline to a halt owing to an epidemic of a disease known as 'potato wart', Boston Herald reports.
Potato wart is a serious threat to the agriculture industry. Despite presenting little harm to people other than ruining crops and economies, the soil-borne bug causes blisters and cauliflower-like growths on potatoes. The Spudpocalypse, the campaign says, is a result of the avoidance of potato warts, which has resulted in a decrease in potato supplies. The usage of the seemingly funny word, according to Kendra Mills, marketing director for the PEI Potato Board, is purposeful and emphasizes the enormity of the shortfall.
The campaign claims that the potatoes are OK, even claiming that "potato growers in Canada are being forced to discard potatoes that were destined for American dinner tables." 'Stop the Spudpocalypse' is the name of the advertising campaign, and the organization is utilizing social media sources like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to warn Americans about empty stores and increasing costs.
Mills explained to Boston Herald, "That speaks to the size and enormity of the problem. We feed 9 million Americans every year. We ship 300 million pounds of potatoes to the US every year, and that's a hard number for people to really fathom.” The USDA confirmed that PEI would be able to begin exporting potatoes to Puerto Rico, but the situation in Massachusetts and the rest of the country remains unaffected. “We are very hopeful that we will see the market reopening through the United States for table stock potatoes soon," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's agricultural minister.