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Potatoes! They’re affordable, accessible, ultra-versatile, and most importantly, delicious. But a case of potato warts found on two farms in Prince Edward Island last November has wreaked havoc on the local potato economy. The wart led the Canadian government to restrict exports of all P.E.I. potatoes to the U.S. for months. Even though potato warts aren’t unsafe to eat, over 300 million pounds of potatoes were destroyed.

Adrian Lee is a content editor at the Globe and Mail’s Opinion section, and has come to consider the economic and cultural importance of the spud.

It’s Food Week here at The Decibel. We take a special look at what keeps us alive – and, some say, makes life worth living. We’ll look at food from different angles, from the ethics of eating so-called ‘smart animals’, to how the war in Ukraine showed us the fragility of our food system, to the business of potatoes. Plus, we’ll take you into the kitchen to cook something delicious.

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