A page made possible by The Courier-Journal Newspaper in Education
We can’t eat just
Kurzweil said in a telephone interview from
was both Native American and African American.
WHAT ABOUT NUTRITION?
one; crispy salted
his home in Providence that he had discovered
All accounts agree that Crum didn’t like it when
Potato chips are often criticized as junk
and sampled quite a few types of potato chips
customers criticized his cooking. Crum was such a food — high in the bad stuff like calories and fat,
snacks make up
— including some that might not be popular with
curmudgeon that he’d get even with such custom-
but low on the good things like vitamins.
But the Michigan Potato Industry Com-
$6 billion industry “I think of the Thai potato chips are quite
One day a customer sent back Crum’s pota-
mission defends the tasty chip. The 10 grams of
exotic in some of their flavorings,” he said. “I
toes because they weren’t crisp enough. According fat in a one-ounce bag amounts to about 2-1/4
By Ivonne Rovira
believe one is basil and seaweed…. Squid chips
to Panati, Crum sliced the potatoes more thinly
teaspoons — less than most people use to pop a
For The Courier-Journal
from Japan are one of the more yucky sounding.”
and sent the customer a new batch. But the cus-
batch of popcorn, it says. And the oil used to cook
Some of Kurzweil’s findings were surprising.
tomer still thought the French fries weren’t crisp
the chips is mostly unsaturated vegetable oil, so
Thin, crunchy and salty, potato chips. Ameri-
For example, while Mexican food might be fiery,
enough! Crum tried to get even, as usual. In those
there’s no cholesterol.
cans really love them, spending a whopping $6
their potato chips are milder than those Americans days, sliced, fried potatoes were eaten with a fork.
And it says potato chips contain vitamins C
billion a year on the crispy creations, according to
eat. For example, chicken-flavored chips are popu-
Crum sliced the potatoes paper-thin and fried them and B-6, and 11 other nutrients, with almost twice
the Snack Food Association.
lar in Mexico..
in hot oil so they’d be too crispy for a fork.
the potassium of a glass of orange juice.
“Americans today consume more potato
Kurzweil doesn’t have one favorite brand of
Instead of making the customer sorry, the
Many experts say chips are OK in modera-
chips … than any other people in the world,” says
potato chips. He likes the PotatoFinger Old School spiteful invention delighted the customer. And not
tion. Small servings now and then are OK — but
Charles Panati in his book “Panati’s Extraordinary
Potato Chips, a thin chip made by an Atlanta com-
just that customer. Other customers wanted the
don’t make them a big part of your diet.
Origins of Everyday Things.”
pany. But he also likes Zaps, a brand out of New
same potato dish, which began to appear on menus
National Potato Chip Day is Wednesday,
Orleans. Zaps was hard hit by Hurricane Katrina,
as “Saratoga chips.” The modern-day potato chip
OTHER SOURCES: “Peeling Away the Mysteries of
March 14, the same day as physicist and genius
“but apparently they’ve bounced back,” he said.
Potato Chips,” “Talk of the Nation,” NPR (www.npr.
Albert Einstein’s birthday. And there’s a connec-
Even though “Leon and the Champion Chip”
The invention of the mechanical potato peeler org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5180774);
tion, says author Allen Kurzweil.
was released in 2005, Kurzweil and his son con-
in the 1920s made it easier to prepare potato chips, “The Potato Chip is 150 This Year!” Snack Food
“In fact, the saddle-shaped chip that Pringles
tinue researching potato chips. Kurzweil has a sci-
as they were now called. They became popular in
Association (www.sfa.org/potato150.aspx); “Pring-
is famous for is known to mathematicians as a
ence kit based on the book in the works.
northern states. But it was Laura Scudder, a lawyer les,” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pring-
hyperbolic paraboloid…,” Kurzweil explained on
Potato chips also come sliced traditionally
turned food company entrepreneur in California,
les ); “Panati’s Extraordinary Origins of Everyday
National Public Radio’s daily call-in show called
thin or more thickly, often called kettle chips. In
who made modern potato chip sales possible.
Things” by Charles Panati; “Legacy of Leadership:
“Talk of the Nation.” “That was, in fact, the shape
the case of Pringles and other similar chips that
In those days, potato chips were sold in barrels,
Herman Warden Lay,” South Carolina Business
that (Albert) Einstein conjectured — that negative
come in tube-shaped canisters, the potatoes are
and the bottom layer of chips ended up as stale
Hall of Fame (www.myetv.org/television/produc-
curvature was the shape allied to the shape of the
pressed out of dough (like cookies sometimes are)
crumbs. Scudder devised bags of waxed paper
made from ground dehydrated potatoes and then
ironed together. These wax bags kept the potato
html); “Leon and the Champion Chip” by Allen
Kurzweil: “Laura Scudder,” Wikipedia (http://
Kurzweil lives in Providence, Rhode Island,
sliced and fried.
chips crisp and fresh, which allowed the mass
and is the author of “Leon and the Champion
marketing of potato chips.
Chip.” In that book, a clever teacher teaches sci-
HISTORY OF CHIPS
As for Kurzweil, does he have another
ence to his fifth-grade class by conducting a year’s
The Snack Food Association and other sourc-
yummy book in the works?
worth of experiments and activities involving
es agree that the potato chip was the brainchild
His “Champion Chip” book is “my first and
DID YOU KNOW?
potato chips. In his research, Kurzweil discovered
of a chef from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. George
only foray into junk food,” he promised. “Think
more than 1,100 flavors of chips — from shrimp
Crum was the chef at a fancy resort, Moon’s Lake
I will leave the world of candy and chocolate to
Kentucky has a place in the early
cocktail to seaweed to lamb and mint.
House, in 1853. Some stories hold that he was at
Roald Dahl,” author of “Charlie and the Chocolate
history of what became the widest-selling
least part American Indian; others say that Crum
Herman Lay would eventually
become the chairman of PepsiCo Inc., the
reserve the term “chip” for the food Americans
are flavored with paprika. Not surprisingly, the
parent company of Pepsi-Cola and many
A chip by any
call “French fries.” You’ll sometimes hear the
Japanese favor soy sauce, wasabi, garlic, yaki-
snacks. But he started by selling potato
same term in the United States in the dish “fish
tori and ramen flavored chips. But they also like
chips in southern Kentucky and northern
and chips.” Not only do the British like their
mayonnaise, chili and scallop.
Tennessee. A star salesman, Lay eventu-
“crisps,” they like them flavored like shrimp or
In Australia, New Zealand and South
ally set up his own potato chip company in
What we know in the United States as a
steak and onion.
Africa, people follow the American usage and
1939 — the company that produces Lay’s
“potato chip” is called different things in differ-
Catsup-flavored potato chips are incredibly
British usage: they call both potato chips and
popular in Canada and the Middle East, by the
French fries “chips.”
According to PepsiCo, its Frito-Lay
Canadians use the same term as Ameri-
way, according to author Allen Kurzweil, who
North American division has revenues of
cans do. However, in the United Kingdom and
wrote “Leon and the Champion Chip.” By far,
SOURCE: “Potato chip,” Wikipedia (http://
$9 billion. Lay’s potato chips accounts for
Ireland, they call the same snack “crisps.” They
most potato chips sold in Germany and Italy
$2 billion’s worth of those sales.
Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old who
AND THE TWO OLYMPIANS
is dyslexic and has ADHD. His life is
BOOK ONE: THE LIGHTNING THIEF
filled with miseries until he lands at
Camp Half-Blood, and he discovers he
is half-human and half-god. Zeus sends
THE SEA OF MONSTERS
him on a quest to retrieve stolen prop-
Conjecture: to guess.
erty. Percy travels to Hades and then
Curmudgeon: somebody considered
A MOVIE REVIEW
BY RACHEL SEALS
to the 600th floor of the Empire State
to be bad-tempered, disagreeable or
BY KHADIJAH WILKINS
NEW WASHINGTON MIDDLE
Building (Mount Olympus).
GRADE 6, FARNSLEY MIDDLE
NEW WASHINGTON, IND.
In the sequel, Percy encounters
Curvature: the degree of being
Medusa, Ares, a Cyclops and many
Do you like books about mythol-
“Stand on the red line if you had some-
other mythical creatures. There is a lot
ogy? “The Lightning Thief ” and its
of action, but it is also very funny.
Entrepreneur: risk-taking business-
thing or someone leave your life!”
sequel, “The Sea of Monsters,” by
I can’t wait to find out what new
“Freedom Writers” is a movie about life
Rick Riordan made me feel as if I were
and what to do, like if you ever had something
adventure Percy will face in the next
observing every action as it happened.
Mass marketing: the business activity
in your life leave your life. And it’s also about
book, which will arrive next month.
of presenting products or services in
a teacher teaching a class of students that don’t
such a way as to make them desir-
care about school, and this teacher proves to
GEORGE’S MARVELOUS MEDICINE
One day when little George is tak-
able to as wide an audience as pos-
the kids that they are somebody and they can
A BOOK REVIEW
ing care of his grandma, she begins
sible, as opposed to marketing to just
write about anything. But the school’s principal
BY RUSS MILLER
to taunt George about his growth and
a specialized type of buyer.
feels she can’t get these kids to write, and he
GRADE 5, ST. ALOYSIUS SCHOOL
scares him about it. Grandma has to
Spiteful: vengeful in a petty way.
feels the teacher shouldn’t try to help the kids,
PEWEE VALLEY, KY.
take her daily medicine shortly after she
but that teacher and the kids prove the principal
had taunted George about his growth,
Tuber: a fleshy swollen part of a root
The story “George’s Marvelous
and he then wanted to get back at her.
such as a dahlia root or of an under-
They show they can do it: they can learn
Medicine” by Roald Dahl is a fantastic
So then he begins to whip up his own
ground stem such as a potato that
and write. They can grow up and be somebody.
and funny story. It is about an 8-year-
medicine, putting everything he can get
stores food over winter and produces
How would you feel if your principal
old boy who lives with his mother,
his hands on into it. What happens then
new growth in spring.
thinks that about you? So go see “Freedom
father and the dreadful grandma he has
to Grandma is unbelievable. Read the
Writers” and see how these kids feel.
to take care of.
book to find out what happens.
Please write and tell us what you think
about an issue in the news or about a
book, movie, game or TV show you think
other young people would like.
This week and every week, you can read
Give it to your teacher or send it to:
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