Irish lose taste for tatties

THE IRISH are falling out of love with the potato. The vegetable that has been a staple of life is losing its place as the carbohydrate of choice on the Irish plate, prompting a national campaign to arrest the decline.

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, has commissioned research to determine why pasta, rice, noodles, couscous and other carbohydrates are all claiming parts of the potato’s traditional market share. The government-financed board will then seek advice on ways to overcome the vegetable’s stodgy image.

“We believe that, emotionally, most Irish consumers still love to eat their potatoes, but several key issues negatively impact on their consumption,” the board said in a document for research applicants.

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These include the mistaken belief that potatoes are fattening, the continuing influence of the protein-rich Atkins Diet on the avoidance of carbohydrates and the time it takes to prepare potatoes compared with the main alternatives.

Consumption has fallen by around 25 per cent since 2005.