There are few foods as versatile as the potato. It can be used in soups, it can be tater-totted, baked, mashed, whipped, riced, made into vodka. They can even save you if you're trapped on Mars.

But, the most famous role potato plays is probably the mighty french fry.

And according to Bloomberg, we may be on the cusp of the Great French Fry Shortage of 2020!

Won't someone think of the combo meals?! Or the poutine. Oh No! Not the poutine!

Anyways, the word is that there was a bad potato harvest in North America this year, and combine that with rising demand for french fries, it means we could see rising potato prices and the possibility of a shortage.

Cool weather brought frost to many growing regions in the US and Canada this fall. Some growers were able to salvage part of their crop, but others got too much snow and rain so they had to abandon some of their fields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that domestic output will drop 6.1% this year. The United Potato Growers of Canada estimates about 18% of Manitoba's planted area was left unharvested.

“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand,” Travis Blacker, industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.

Now potato supplies are rushing to import potato supplies to North America to meet demand.

“It’s a manageable situation,” Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada told Bloomberg. “Potatoes are going to have to move from one channel to another that they sometimes don’t move in a normal year.”

OK, so maybe it won't be as bad as I fear. As long as I can still get my curly fries and smother them with gravy and cheese curds, everything will be alright.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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