Potato Torment

February 7, 2017

Two really awful things happened to me last week.

  • I had to go to Canberra, and
  • There was a potato shortage there.

You may remember Dear Readers, how last year I was sent into a sheer panic at the mere suggestion of a chocolate shortage, so it was with heart-pounding, sweat-inducing terror I read the sign at the corner shop that read “No potato scallops”.

HOW does this HAPPEN? We are a nation with a robust and proud agricultural history. Our forebears rode to glory on the Spud’s back! And now this….

It was particularly upsetting because as I was in Canberra, naturally I needed some comfort food. I’ll own it – I’m an emotional eater (like a lot of people) so there I was trapped in an endless cycle of torment!

Turns out the southern states are experiencing a potato shortage because of flooding. The AUSVEG folk advise wet weather has caused difficulties harvesting potatoes, AND THE HORROR DOESN’T STOP THERE. It’s also affecting the planting of next season’s crop because the ground is too wet for the machinery needed.

Aren’t we the nation that invented the wine cask AND the Hill’s Hoist AND the black box recorder AND Google maps? Come on people, we are geniuses. Surely we can dry out the ground for potatoes?

What’s the MCG groundskeeper doing? Surely he could help with this problem? It rains every five minutes on the hallowed turf of the G.

Personally I blame Andrew Taylor. He’s from Melbourne and ate nothing but spuds for a year and lost 50 kilos. I’m serious. He was addicted to all sorts of crap food (deep-fried stuff, ice cream, cake, and soft drink etc… terrible diet!) but stopped in favour of the humble potato. He doesn’t eat anything else and takes his own potatoes to dinner parties. He said the first two weeks were the hardest, but then that’s par for the course as anyone who has ever been on a diet will attest to.

I’m kinda bummed out by his success because I eat potatoes all the time and quite frankly, Dear Readers, I could stand to lose a few kilos.

I will out myself as being particularly hopeless at sticking to diets of any kind. In fact the only “diet” I really had any success with was when I was at Uni and I was inadvertently on the “Ine” diet. In short, if it ended in ‘ine’ I ingested it. Caffeine, nicotine (bad bad!) and wine. I wasn’t religious about it but I adopted the 80:20 rule. Ine 80 per cent of the time and then actual food for the other 20 – usually in the form of kebabs.

This current potato situation is turning out to be a good thing for Queensland growers who say they are currently fetching the best prices in 60 years. There’s your silver lining! And potato scallops are still available here. Phew.

But it’s the PM I feel sorry for – if anyone could do with a potato scallop to cheer themselves up after the week he’s had, it’s probably him. #putyourpotaotesoutforMalcolm.

 

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Alexandria Bernard
With a successful 20+ year career in media and communications, Alex’s media portfolio includes contracts as a radio and television presenter (612 ABC, 4BC, Channel 9 and Network Ten) and as a feature writer for bmag and Brisbane Times.

Alex's voice and face may be familiar to you from her voiceover and television commercial work. She has been featured in national radio and TV advertising campaigns, corporate videos and has been a regular MC for major events.