News In Brief

Fried German potato crop shrinks size of fries

Melissa Kaplan Jul 26, 2010

In what might seem like a counter-intuitive move on Mother Nature’s part, Germany’s fried crop of extra-large potatoes will have an adverse effect on an order of fries. Hot, dry weather has made the crop smaller this year, and the French fry industry is adjusting by shrinking the average fry size from its usual 2.2 inches long down to about 1.8 inches long at best. No word yet as to whether the price will reflect the shrinking portions.

But what’s bad for the French fry industry might be good for last-ditch attempts to slim down. The average large serving of fries is 539 calories, with 259 calories from fat. Knocking down one-fifth of the size would peg the calorie count to around 437.

A lowered calorie count might not be worst thing for the overall German diet; Germany comes in 14th on the most recent global obesity rankings. The country produces 11 million tons of potatoes a year, with about10 percent of of the crop turned into French fries. The U.S. ranks at number one in obesity — perhaps not surprisingly as Americans consume about 28 pounds of French fries per year, per person. France ranks #23.

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