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Sometimes a Potato Chip Isn’t a Potato Chip

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: health, food, junk food, potato chips, Pringles,

PringlesPringles snacks may be many things—addictive, fattening, salt vessels—but a high court in Great Britain has decided that they’re not potato crisps. The Pringles manufacturer, Proctor & Gamble, successfully argued in court that the snack food has a "uniform colour" and a "regular shape" which "is not found in nature" and is also only 42 percent potato, and therefore is not a potato crisp, the BBC reports. Potato crisps are taxed at a higher rate in Great Britain, so the decision likely will save Proctor & Gamble millions of dollars. It could also make consumers think twice before consuming all that maltodextrin and dextrose that make up some of the other 58 percent of the crisp.

(Thanks, Inky Circus.)

pam_1
7/16/2008 10:43:47 PM

So I don't eat Pringles -- and therefore, don't have a can to look at. I'm curious, on the can, what does it say? Does it say "potato crisp" or "potato chip" ????? Or just "Pringles" and you're suppose to know what it is. Now you have me curious......other brands of potato chips....Lays, Guys, Krunchers, etc......what percent of potato are they? Anyone know?


emily garber
7/14/2008 12:58:22 PM

Good point, Hannah. My diet is primarily made up of what I get for free from work (www.commonrootscafe.com), either fresh, organic shift meals or expired half gallons of rice and beans and quinoa tabouli. So when I revert back to snacks like Pringles I'm surprised at how fleeting the flavor is; rather than satisfied, your mouth feels empty, watery, in need of constant reminder what exactly the food you just swallowed tastes like. Bet you can't have just one....


hannah lobel_4
7/11/2008 3:50:18 PM

I'm most pleased to see the recent spate of junk-food coverage here at Utne.com. (See also: http://www.utne.com/2008-07-01/Science-Technology/The-Vending-Machine-Chronicles.aspx?blogid=36) I'll just add that I think another characteristic this British high court might have considered was whether the "potato chip" in question required actual chewing. I've always found that, given a few moments, Pringles are quite happy to simply dissolve in your mouth, making them fine fodder for slovenly snacks, but not necessarily the solid stuff of potato chip lore.