In a light-hearted moment, I give you this story reported by the Beeb, about a man in Lebanon who claims to have found the world's heaviest potato. At 11.3 kilos (24.9 lbs), it would certainly do fish and chips a couple of times, if you could bear to eat it. In all candor, I'm not sure that I could. It reminds me of a creature from some nameless B-movie horrorshow that I saw as a teenager. In the movie, I think that the potato was sentient, had one eye, and was called "Jeff".
Which brings me to the truly staggering news that I learned from this story: did anyone else know that it was the International Year of the Potato? Did you know and not tell me? Why would you keep something like that from me? I mean, really - the year's almost over, too. How am I supposed to pack a year's worth of potato celebrations into the remains of December?
Kidding aside, while I thought that Potato 2008 would be something typically silly, like sharing potato salad recipes and the ongoing search for the potato that most resembled Elvis, but in reality it's an important project to emphasise the importance of the potato as a subsistence crop, which can help alleviate hunger world-wide. Yes, there are also recipes, some of which I'll probably try. But in the meantime, take a moment to consider the humble potato, and how it can help with that crucial goal of alleviating hunger around the world. And if you haven't done it already, donate to a local food pantry, or to an organisation like Harvesters or Oxfam, or your own personal favourite. Even in these difficult economic climes and times, it's important to remember that there are always less-fortunate people who need and deserve your help and mine. Just don't give them any monster potatoes named "Jeff".
End of potato sermon. On with the day.