Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: United States

Food terror, needles, nails, and the Batman

The television series “Anne of Green Gables” was a staple for my daughter growing up. She recently turned 20 (!) and besides sharing a name with the main character, loved the idyllic, pastoral setting of the story.

Despite the sweet, throwback nature of the show, not all is well in Green Gables land. Last week, a report about Canada’s Prince Edward Island – where the show was filmed – was rather jarring. Why? Because some idiot is pushing needles and nails into potatoes, causing major heartburn to the island’s $1 billion annual potato production.

"It's food terrorism," Alex Docherty, an island producer, told The Guardian. "The people doing this are cowards, lower than a snake wearing snowshoes. These are really evil people."

In the same article, the chairman of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board said, “Farm families all over the world work so hard to produce food and to have something like this happen is really disheartening.”

The sabotage has actually been going on for a while. The first needles were discovered last October. The farm where the potatoes were produced halted production until several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of metal detectors were installed. Tampered-with potatoes have since been found in markets in numerous Canadian provinces.

In hopes of drawing out witnesses, sleuths or informants, affected producers put out a $100,000 reward to point out the culprits. As that didn’t do the trick, the reward has now been upped to $400,000.

If you find a nail in your spud, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are asking you not toss it. A statement reads: "Anyone who finds any foreign metal objects in a potato is asked to refrain from throwing out the potato, metal object or the bag it was located in when purchased."

It’s rather difficult to understand why someone would resort to shoving nails into potatoes. And coming up with a solid motive is slippery. Some financial reason? Revenge? A sick joy of terrorizing others?

Or, perhaps there is no reason beyond a twisted mind.

As wise Alfred, in The Dark Knight, said to Batman: “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

TAGS: Outlook
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.