The Dark Side Of National Potato Day: Potato Addiction


TODAY marks National Potato Day and while the country rightly celebrates the hardy and versatile food many media outlets choose to ignore the darker side of potatoes in Ireland.

PR firms have successfully restored the humble potato’s reputation since the dark days of the famine, but not enough is being done to combat the silent killer that is potato addiction.

“I suppose I grew up thinking it was normal, like, me Da did it, me Ma did it and now I suppose I’ve given my disease to my kids too,” shared recovering potato addict Eoin Brophy.

Eoin first discovered his addiction when eating a Sunday roast with his then wife Aine. “I lost my temper and just couldn’t understand why she was saying I had a problem,” Eoin recalls, reliving the exact moment he was told having roast and mashed potatoes alongside chips in the one meal was not normal.

96% of Irish people have found themselves unwittingly addicted to the starch heavy staple which is known on the streets as ‘spuds’, sending them spiralling down a well of suffering and bitterness.

“I’m nearly out of the darkness now, but you know it’s crazy, at my addictions height I was spending upwards of 10 euro a week on a couple of kilos for myself,” added an emotional Eoin.

While a brave few have campaigned to limit the advertising of potatoes to post-watershed slots, this only became a reality last year after nearly 30 years of campaigning.

“I just got sick of being at a friend’s house, or a restaurant and everyone would be pushing spuds on ye. ‘Ah have a chip’, ‘go on have a roast potato, only eejits eat salad’, that kind of thing,” shared anti-spud campaigner Paddy Murphy.

Yesterday, the influential potato industry agreed to set up and fund, a potato awareness resource.
The first ad made by will be launched next month.

“I’ve seen an early cut of it and it’s powerful stuff,” shared Murphy, “just lads talking about passing an awful lot of wind after trips to the chipper and there was one lad, whose dad had been killed by a potato to the head, sad stuff”.

National Potato Day is followed by Potato Addiction Awareness Month in November.