1. Potato Chips date back to 1853. An unhappy customer at a restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY kept returning his fried potatoes to the chef, requesting they be prepared much thinner. The chef sliced them so thin that they could not be eaten with a fork. Thus was born the potato chip.
2. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that potato chips expanded from restaurant food and started selling in bags.
3. Flavored chips were born in the 1950′s by a small independent manufacturer who then sold the concept to the larger corporations.
4. As junk food goes, potato chips contain only 3 ingredients (potatoes, oil, salt) and are considered by some nutritionists the lesser of savory evils.
5. Potato chips sales are over $15B (!!!) a year worldwide. They tally up about one third of all savory snacks.
6. While we call them potato chips, our overseas friends use the word crisps.
7. A single serving of potato chips, 1 ounce, contains only 150 calories, 10 grams of fat and 180mg of salt. That’s less than 10% of the daily calories of most people, about 15% of the fat, and 8% of the maximum sodium intake.
8. Problem is that most people don’t stop at one serving. Honestly, are 11 chips enough for you? People can wolf down 5 times that amount in sitting, dip not included…
9. One of the most popular flavored potato chip varieties is Sour Cream and Onion. Compared to just 3 ingredients in the original version, this one has 20 ingredients including MSG, Palm oil, and artificial colorings.
10. Just in case you were wondering, this national holiday does not appear in congressional records. It’s just another made up holiday by snack food industry marketing geniuses.
What to do at the supermarket:
Potato chips don’t have to be a daily ritual with your lunch sandwich. However, if you do buy them for occasional consumption, choose potato chips that have been minimally processed. Stay with the plain, unflavored chips as they have no additives and colorings. Buy single serve 1 oz. bags of chips so that you won’t be tempted to eat more than one serving at a time.
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