The British are cutting back on potatoes in favour of pasta and rice, research shows.
Over the past 20 years there has been a 40 per cent drop in the number of fresh potatoes eaten in British homes, according to the Potato Council.
The Government-backed quango is spending £1.25million on encouraging people to rediscover the spud.
Young adults apparently want the convenience of potatoes that have already been turned into oven chips, frozen roasties or ready-made mash.
The campaign to champion the potato includes creating yesterday's national Potato Day and encouraging people to share recipes online.
UK families scoff 833 million fewer spud-based meals a year now than they did ten years ago, a fall of almost a fifth.
Four out of ten under-30s said they didn't know how to cook a jacket spud in a survey by the Potato Council.
Experts say busy workers believe they take too long to prepare while many women fear spuds are high in calories and carbohydrates. But the study showed people over 45 are eating more potatoes than five years ago.
Over the past decade meals eaten with rice are up by a third and those with pasta have increased by 21 per cent.
"Rice and pasta continue to threaten the market, with younger consumers eating far fewer potatoes than their parents and we continue to face long term structural decline in the demand for potatoes," a spokesman said.
The campaign's funding comes from a levy imposed on potato growers under the authority of the Government's food and farming department, Defra.
Last year the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, of which the Potato Council is a division, received £48.2million from farmers from the levy.
Some £5.9million of this came from potato producers.
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