The great potato famine was not just a crop issue – it was more of a political issue. The potato was imported to Ireland where it grew very well. Most urban families survived on potatoes with little else. When a fungus came through the fields and killed the crop that year, some food aid was sent in but nobody was prepared to help the farmers through two years of no harvest. When the second harvest was also ruined, Ireland had no way to take care of its people. Thousands died of disease that would have been fought off if they weren’t also malnourished. In 1847 they had a good crop, but the blight returned in 1848. Many died and many emigrated to other countries.
Famines happen in the world now, and a vegetable famine is possible but it would seem that politics wouldn’t get in the way this time – maybe.
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