What? Another country has run out of fries?
What? Another country has run out of fries? A Quarter Pounder meal is served with arepas or corn cakes at a local McDonald's, in Caracas, Venezuela (AP photos)
What? Another country has run out of fries?
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Forget the French fries. How about a side of yuca with that Big Mac?

Venezuela's more than 100 McDonald's franchises have run out of potatoes. Now they are serving alternatives. Like deep-fried arepa flatbreads or yuca. That's a starchy staple of traditional South American cooking.

McDonald's is blaming a contract dispute with American West Coast dock workers for halting the export of frozen fries to Venezuela. The dispute also caused several days of French fry rationing in Japan last month. But Sonia Ruseler, a spokeswoman for the company that runs McDonald's restaurants in Latin America, declined to say why Venezuela's neighbors are not suffering from similar scarcity.

Many Venezuelans assume the embattled socialist government is to blame. They are accustomed to shortages of their favorite foods. And they are equally in the habit of grumbling about the government as they walk away empty-handed.

"It's because of the situation here. It's a total debacle," said Maria Guerreiro. She left a McDonald's in Caracas with her family when she found out they were serving only fries made of yuca. The food also is also known as cassava. Her daughter won't eat the super-starchy root, she said. They'd come for the sole purpose of treating the two-year-old to a Happy Meal. Caracas is the capital of Venezuela.

McDonald's has likely been grappling with shortages in Venezuela for a while. That's according to Alixa Sharkey. She is a researcher with the market research company Euromonitor International.

"This situation probably has little to do with the U.S. port dispute and is mostly the result of Venezuela's very difficult economic situation," she said.

While McDonald's may be the ultimate symbol of U.S. capitalism, the socialist government seems acutely aware that Venezuelans relish their Happy Meals. A state-sponsored news website posted a story assuring that the situation "has nothing at all to do" with government policy.

At the Caracas McDonald's, a man wearing an "employee of the month" cap braved the dinner rush recently. He explained to patrons that instead of French fries, the store was offering yuca fries, mini-arepas, or salads.

Some customers sampled their pale yuca fries tentatively as they picked up their orders. No one chose the salad.

Critical thinking challenge: Fries are made from potatoes, which grow on farms. So why are dock workers who load ships causing problems for French fry-loving Venezuelans?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/what-another-country-has-run-out-fries/

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COMMENTS (293)
  • benjif-2
    1/21/2015 - 04:04 p.m.

    In this article it tells how Venezuelas 100 Mc Donalds chain ran out of potatoes to make french fries. That means there a re no french fries in any Mc Donalds. I find this pretty funny. I dont get how they can have no french fries in any of there Mc Donalds.

  • SabrinaD3
    1/21/2015 - 04:11 p.m.

    There is a shortage of french fries in Venezuela. McDonald's has been searching for a suitable substitute for there famous fries. They are now selling fries made of yuca in Venezuela. Citizens are outraged and blame this shortage on their socialist government. Government officials claim this has nothing to do with the government.
    I think it is crazy there id a french fry shortage in an other country. I think this is a very large issue for McDonald's and a inconvenience to the citizens of Venezuela. I found this article very interesting.

  • MGallagher
    1/21/2015 - 05:00 p.m.

    Venezuela's 100 McDonald's restaurants have run out of potatoes to make fries. They are serving alternatives such as deep-fried flat breads or yucca. McDonald's is blaming the US's port for stopping the shipment of potatoes to Venezuela. Alixa Sharkey says, "this situation probably has little to do with the US Port dispute and is mostly a result of Venezuela's very difficult economic situation.

  • sebastianserrano1
    1/21/2015 - 05:28 p.m.

    The fence fries of Venezuela have disappeared and are gone. they have a nice replacement for the fries and it is called the yuca, a south American food. they say that the dock workers are the problem because they say they don't know where the fries went or it could be that it is not potato season.

  • Taryne
    1/21/2015 - 05:42 p.m.

    That's crazy that a country has run out of french fries! Are they going to ship more over there? I wonder if where i live if we are ever going to run out of Mcdonalds french fries... Are there any farms producing any more potato's ?

  • Bentley316
    1/21/2015 - 05:46 p.m.

    I think this is may be good for Venezuelans, because if not having fries is such an issue, then they obviously need to cut down on them. There is no reason to make a big deal over something so small. I don't get why not having french fries is a problem, go buy fresh potatoes, cut them, and fry them. It tastes better and is better for you. It is ridiculous to cause such a fuss over not having a frozen processed food.

  • Samp-1
    1/21/2015 - 06:53 p.m.

    I think it is a little bad for mcdonalds to be running out of potatoes to make french frys that is not good news for MCdonolds. The name yuca just makes it seam bad. If i got offered to eat one i wouldn't even think about it would be defiantly NO.

  • Eriku2
    1/21/2015 - 06:54 p.m.

    This article is about Venezuela. Recently at McDonalds there there were no fries avaliable due to shortages. It is also due to probloms at american docks. I think that if Venezuelans want fries they should fight for them.

  • LundyG-3
    1/21/2015 - 07:23 p.m.

    Venezuela recently ran out of potatoes at their McDonald's. As a result, they are now selling deep-fried arepa flatbreads or yuca. Many people are very upset that they don't get their french fries. Some people are blaming the American West Coast dock workers for stopping the export of frozen fries to Venezuela. Others say that the shortage is caused by Venezuela's very difficult economic situation.

    If I was in Venezuela, I would be pretty upset. French fries, and McFlurry's, are the only things that seem edible from McDonald's. If they were out of those, I would be sad. I find it funny that Venezuelans try to blame the U.S. for the shortage when it is partly their economy. I obviously don't know the cause, but they shouldn't point fingers if there's more than one reason.

  • jaylynnj-Orv
    1/21/2015 - 07:33 p.m.

    I wonder if really no one ate the salad. As I heard by a famous YouTuber say, "salads are tasteless and boring." (not that I agree or anything.....) or was it a hyperbole? That's something I'd like to ask the authors about.

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