Speed Reading — Potato Shortage - Level 1 — 100 wpm 

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Europe grew a lot fewer potatoes this summer. This means French fries will be up to 3cm shorter than usual. Europe had a very hot summer. It had a long heatwave, record high temperatures and very little rain, so farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes. A potato growers' spokesman in Belgium said this increased potato prices. It also made the average size of potatoes smaller. Smaller potatoes means French fries will be shorter.

The potato shortage is a hot topic in Belgium. Fries are Belgium's national dish. There are over 5,000 shops there that sell fries. Belgians call them "Belgian fries" because they say the fry was invented in Belgium. Belgium exports lots of frozen fries. The spokesman explained why fries would be shorter. He said long fries of 8 to 9 cm need potatoes with a diameter of more than 50mm. This summer's smaller potatoes means fries will be shorter.

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