One eighteenth-century monarch, Frederick the Great, used the same magic in the promotion of the potato as a domestic crop, transforming something worthless and unwanted into something valuable through the elixir of psychology. The reason he wanted eighteenth-century Prussian peasants to cultivate and eat the potato was because he hoped that they would be less at risk of famine when bread was in short supply if they had an alternative source of carbohydrate; it would also make food prices less volatile. The problem was that the peasants weren't keen on potatoes; even when Frederick tried coercion and the threat of fines, they simply showed no interest in eating them. Some people objected because the potato was not mentioned in the Bible, while others argued that, since dogs wouldn't eat potatoes, why should humans? So, having given up on compulsion, Frederick tried subtle persuasion. He established a royal potato patch in the grounds of his palace, and declared that it was to be a royal vegetable, that could only be consumed by members of the royal household or with royal permission.fn1 If you declare something highly exclusive and out of reach, it makes us all want it much more - call it 'the elixir of scarcity'. Frederick knew this and so posted guards around his potato patch to protect his crop, but gave them secret instructions not to guard the patch too closely. Curious Prussians found they could sneak into the royal potato patch and could steal, eat and even cultivate this fabulously exclusive vegetable for themselves.