Prince Edward Island potato farmers, who produce one of the only two things their province is known for, are raising the specter of empty shelves and hungry children in Massachusetts because the meanies at the USDA are blocking the import of their spuds simply because of a fungus that can make potatoes look like the aftermath of an Alien chestburster birth, only whiter and mealier.
But why are the farmers trying to make this a wedge issue in Massachusetts in particular? They say we have skin in this game because we're just so madly in love with PEI potatoes that we make up the island's second largest market - forget the Maine potatoes. Also, we have a bunch of influential lawmakers who can presumably tell the USDA to get stuffed and let those potatoes roll.
The spud growers have mashed together a form letter Bay Staters can use to send a scalding message to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilack to demand he stop the impending famine: "My name is and I live in Massachusetts where we count on potatoes from Prince Edward Island in Canada to feed our families," it starts.