Too Good to Be Food
I’m a little late getting to this story, but it has absolutely floored me, so I just had to share.
I’m sure everyone here has had the privilege of eating a Pringle or two in their lifetime. Or, more likely, seven or seventy or seven thousand. Once you pop, you can’t stop. It really is true. More than a few times in my life, I have sat down and eaten an entire tin of these things in one sitting. There’s just something about them–you could eat Pringles all day long and still be hungry. Now, after all this time, I’ve finally found out why that is–THEY AREN’T FOOD.
Earlier this year, the Pringles company, trying to avoid taxes, successfully argued before a British court that Pringles are not potato chips at all. You see, while most foods are not taxable in Britain, potato products are. I’m unclear exactly why–but I assume it has something to do with starving the Irish.
But the clever Pringle folks got around that by pointing out that their tasty little snackeens should hardly be called potato chips:
Mr Justice Warren said yesterday that to fall within the taxed potato category, “the product must be wholly, or substantially wholly, made from potato”.
Pringles have a potato content of about 42 per cent. “As a result, this appeal is allowed because regular Pringles are not, on the facts found, ‘made from the potato, or from potato flour, or from potato starch’ within the legal requirement and are exempt from VAT,” he said.
Tricky, tricky, Mr. Pringle! And so they got out of paying the pesky potato tax. But it certainly raises an upsetting question: Exactly what the hell is the other 58 percent of a Pringle? Well according to the packaging, it’s yummy stuff like cottonseed oil, maltodextrin, wheat starch, dextrose, and other delicious things.
Now, we all know I’m no health food pusher, but is it so much to ask that junk food at least be made from real food? I mean, salt and sugar and fat up my food as much as you want, but I would feel a whole lot better about it if you were at least starting with something that grows in the ground. For christsake, people, even the Chinese have banned Pringles! This is the same government that puts poison in baby formula, covers children’s toys with lead, and sells us toothpaste made from arsenic—and they won’t even allow Pringles in the freaking country because they are that bad for you.
OK, that’s my rant for the day. I’m off to find a bag of Lay’s.
Previous Chip Coverage on ES: