Potatoes

Americans consume more potatoes than any other food behind dairy products and wheat flour. In 1960, the typical american ate 81 lbs of fresh potatoes and 4 lbs of frozen french fries in one year. Today, we eat 49 lbs of fresh potatoes and 30 lbs of frozen french fries per year. 90% of these fries are from fast food restaurants. French Fries are the most widely sold fast food item in the US.

McDonalds switched from fresh to frozen fries in 1965. Customers didn’t notice a difference in the taste, and this cut out the labor of peeling and cutting potatoes, making fries one of the most profitable items on the menu (far more than hamburgers). Fast food restaurants purchase frozen french fries at about 30 cents per pound, then sell them for about $6 per pound. Only three companies control 80% of the market for frozen french fries. These three companies compete heavily for fast food chain contracts which, to the benefit fast food chains, lowers their prices, making french fries even more profitable.

Since 1980, the number of potatoes grown in Idaho has nearly doubled. The huge rise in supply has caused significant drops in price, severely affecting potato farmers. Of every $1.50 spent on a large order of fench fries at a fast food restaurant, only about 2 cents goes to the farmer who grew the potatoes. In the past 25 years, Idaho has lost about half of its potato farmers, but the amount of land for potato farms, and number of potatoes produced, has increased. Family farms continue to fold as corporate farms grow and stretch for thousands of acres. Today there are only about 1100 potato farmers left in Idaho – few enough to fit in a high school auditorium.
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Breakfast: English muffin
Lunch: Microwavable pasta bowl
Dinner: An artichoke (my favorite!) & salad
This is a bit more complicated that what I do, but here’s some instructions on how to cook and eat an artichoke (I completely skip steps 1-3, I steam it without a steaming basket-just place it in about 1 inch of water, I don’t add stuff to the water, and I dip it in melted butter with garlic.)

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One Response to “Potatoes”

  1. Zeeshan Amjad Says:

    Hmm i like potatoes but mostly i make potatoes chips Yummy 🙂

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