Friday, March 5

Potato Famines vs. All-You-Can-Eat

Denny's made a big PR slip week in advertising their all-can-eat fries and pancakes offer as in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Irish Potato Famine.

Given that was an event in which it is estimated some 1 million people died and upwards of two million more left the country, especially for Canada and the US, it is no surprise a large Irish-American Facebook movement is seeking a boycott of the restaurant chain.

This fascinating flash interactive video aimed towards kids takes you through the social, economic, and agricultural context for the famine, including the land rental system that farmers were burdened under.

The odd and ironic contrasts of this Denny's commercial in pointing out too little to eat then and there, and too much to eat here and now is interesting to consider, especially given the complex causes of the famine itself in terms of ecology: initiated by a potato blight (a parasite taking evolutionary advantage over the monocropping of potatoes there), which itself was a part of the emerging modern food system of reliance on fewer crops....

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