Belgians are being asked to eat more French fries

Belgians are being asked to perform an unusual — and delicious — civic duty to help their fellow countrymen.

The task? Eating more chips.

It's a request that comes from the nation's potato industry, which fears it could waste as many as 750,000 tons of food as a result of the global health crisis.

Romain Cools, secretary general of the Belgian potato industry group Belgapom, told the outlet that sales of frozen potatoes — which account for around 75 percent of the industry — have dropped steeply during the crisis. It's a problem that, according to Cools, could be mitigated by customers eating frozen fries "twice a week".

"We're working with supermarkets to see whether we can launch a campaign asking Belgians to do something for the sector by eating fries — especially frozen fries — twice a week during the coronavirus crisis," Cools told CNBC. "What we are trying to do is to avoid food waste, because every lost potato is a loss."

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Coronavirus hits Belgium hard
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Coronavirus hits Belgium hard
Illustration picture shows a visitor talking to a resident, as the visits to residents of rest homes are possible from today in Wallonia, here in Les Jardins d'Astrid, rest home in Maurage, La Louviere, visits are organised in a sas with plexiglas between resident and the relatives, Wednesday 29 April 2020. Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE (Photo by THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
A patient attends a physiotherapist session, on 30 April 2020, in Antwerp, northern Belgium. - The government has announced a phased plan to ease the lockdown in the country as Belgium is in its seventh week of lockdown in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by DIRK WAEM / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by DIRK WAEM/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
An older woman can be seen walking down the street wearing a mask, Ghent - Belgium 29 April 2020. Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The (partly lockdown) until 3 May 2020. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation(Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Suzanne Valette, 88, infected with COVID-19, meets her son Philippe Melard through a plexiglass lock inside the contenair at the Buissonets retirement home which has been converted into a visiting room for the relatives, in Horion-Hozemont, a section of the municipality of Grace-Hollogne, on April 29, 2020. - Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
A nurse cleans outside a contenair at the Buissonets retirement home which has been converted into a visiting room for the relatives of patients infected with COVID-19, in Horion-Hozemont a section of the municipality of Grace-Hollogne, on April 29, 2020 - Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Illustration picture shows a resident talking to a visitor through a plexiglass, as the visits to residents of rest homes are possible from today in Wallonia, here in Les Jardins d'Astrid, rest home in Maurage, La Louviere, visits are organised in a sas with plexiglas between resident and the relatives, Wednesday 29 April 2020. Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE (Photo by THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
A health worker collect a sample of the COVID-19 coronavirus infections taken from Residence Dejaifve retirement home residents and workers, in Fosses La Ville, Belgium, on April 29, 2020. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A health worker collect a sample of the COVID-19 coronavirus infections taken from Residence Dejaifve retirement home residents and workers, in Fosses La Ville, Belgium, on April 29, 2020. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
General view of deserted streets in the city centre of Bruges, on April 29, 2020, amid the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER / Belga / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/Belga/AFP via Getty Images)
Illustration picture shows the canals in the city center of Brugge, where fishes have been returning since the touristic boats are no longer in use, Wednesday 29 April 2020. Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Illustration picture shows deserted streets in the city center of Brugge, Wednesday 29 April 2020. Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Municipal employees put masks in envelopes to send the town's residents in Lincent on April 28, 2020, during a lockdown in the country aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. - Belgian municipalities are starting to provide their residents with washable masks, as the country prepares to ease coronavirus lockdown measures. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
- Lockdown Covid-19 : The future of catering in Belgium The MITO (MilanoTorino) restaurant in Brussels is preparing to reopen, respecting health and distance rules. All restaurants should be able to reopen on June 8 after the lockdown. 28/04/2020 pict. by Didier Lebrun © Photo News via Getty Images)
- Lockdown Covid-19 : The future of catering in Belgium The MITO (MilanoTorino) restaurant in Brussels is preparing to reopen, respecting health and distance rules. All restaurants should be able to reopen on June 8 after the lockdown. 28/04/2020 pict. by Didier Lebrun © Photo News via Getty Images)
- Lockdown Covid-19 : The future of catering in Belgium The MITO (MilanoTorino) restaurant in Brussels is preparing to reopen, respecting health and distance rules. All restaurants should be able to reopen on June 8 after the lockdown. 28/04/2020 pict. by Didier Lebrun © Photo News via Getty Images)
Belgian physiotherapist Mounya El Khalil (R) and her patient Michel Renard attend a therapy session in the revalidation centre for COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital, on April 28, 2020, in Tournai. - This patient will go out on April 30 after two weeks of coma with a respirator and one week of physiotherapy. Belgium is in its seventh week of confinement in the ongoing corona virus crisis. The government has announced a phased plan to attempt an exit from the lockdown situation in the country, continuing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
A general view of BrugesA, Belgium, on April 27, 2020. Europe's tourism industry around one billion euros a month in lost revenue due the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Illustration shows a doctor and an old patient, both wearing a mask and the doctor give disinfecting gel to the patient to clean his hands during a consultation in a group medical practice of general practitioners in Ronse, Monday 27 April 2020. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (Photo by DIRK WAEM/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
ANTWERP, BELGIUM - APRIL 27 : As a result of the containment measures to stop the spreading of Covid-19 Bioracer, a company that develops cycling clothing, started to make mouth masks on April 27, 2020 in Antwerp, Belgium, 27/04/2020 The Belgian government decided to distribute at least one mask for each citizen. ( Photo by Peter De Voecht / Photonews via Getty Images)
ANTWERP, BELGIUM - APRIL 27 : As a result of the containment measures to stop the spreading of Covid-19 Bioracer, a company that develops cycling clothing, started to make mouth masks on April 27, 2020 in Antwerp, Belgium, 27/04/2020 The Belgian government decided to distribute at least one mask for each citizen. ( Photo by Peter De Voecht / Photonews via Getty Images)
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Cools' concern is not unique to Belgium. As restaurants stay closed and consumers stick to stick to essential goods at home, farmers around the world are being forced to waste their crops.

The New York Times reported that in the US, for example, dairy farmers are dumping around 3.7m gallons of milk per day. A farmer in Idaho was even forced to bury 1m pounds of now-useless onions.

"People don't make onion rings at home," Shay Myers, a third-generation onion farmer told the New York Times.

Belgium's situation seemed manageable to some, though. Cools' request immediately went viral on social media, with fry obsessives from around the offering to help.

"Who's moving to Belgium with me?" one Twitter user asked.

Others, meanwhile suggested the country find other uses for its potato excess.

"Someone should tell them about vodka," another user wrote.

If you liked this story, check out In The Know's article on how Finnish supermarkets are testing out hands-free doors.

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