Similarly to the rest of the world, Belgium is dealing with its coronavirus outbreak, which means that the country has been faced with a series of unexpected economic setbacks—one of which involving the potato industry.
Pommes Frites is such an integral staple of Belgian culture that the government petitioned UNESCO to name the fry as a cornerstone of Belgian cultural heritage. However, as restaurants shutter their doors and Belgians are sequestered to their homes, the potato industry has taken a hit.
The drop in demand has apparently put an enormous strain on the industry's freezer capacity. As a result, Belgapom, a potato industry group, is making a straightforward plea to the citizens of Belgium: please eat French at least twice per week.
"We're working with supermarkets to see whether we can launch a campaign asking Belgians to do something for the sector by eating fries—especially frozen fries—twice a week during the coronavirus crisis," said Romain Cools, the secretary-general of Belgapom. "What we are trying to do is to avoid food waste, because every lost potato is a loss."
Despite the tremendous amount of food waste brought on by the coronavirus, U.S. food banks are struggling more than ever. Food banks can only store so many perishable goods. Some farmers are simply giving away their crops rather than tossing millions of pounds of perfectly good produce.
Regardless, as far as the new coronavirus lifestyle goes, twice-weekly mandatory French fry consumption isn't the worst of it.