Best of Expo West: Healthy Potato Chips

by Ann Marie Michaels on March 12, 2009

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Healthy Potato Chips

I’ve got to tell you about these truly healthy potato chips I had at Expo West. Good Health Natural Products sells a kettle potato chip made with olive oil. Unlike most potato chips, which are made with soybean oil or vegetable oil — decidedly unhealthy oils.

These chips, on the other hand, are so healthy, they are listed in the exalted Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide.

So healthy, in fact, that I actually let my toddler eat them.

But are they good, you ask?

Suffice it to say, I got home, ripped open a bag, and ate half of it in one sitting. They are that delicious. (Kate loved them, too.)

I don’t know about you but I love the crunch of potato chips with a sandwich (and a tall glass of milk). I haven’t eaten potato chips in over a year — because I could not find a healthy chip.

I’m so excited to have finally found a brand of healthy potato chips I can buy for my family.

Good Health Natural Products has other brands of chips cooked with other oils like avocado oil. I’m not familiar with avocado oil — and I didn’t try the chips.

But I can tell you that these olive oil potato chips are good. Really, really good. I think I’m going to order a case. Yes, you can order them online. Is that so wrong?

Oh, and I should mention… the people I met working at the booth were SO nice. Just lovely. Maybe it’s because they’re from Greensboro, North Carolina. I know from firsthand experience — there are a lot of nice people there.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie March 12, 2009 at 8:11 PM

I really like those chips but why aren’t they organic? I have to wonder about the source of the olive oil and potatoes.

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Kari March 13, 2009 at 1:06 AM

As heat changes the molecular structure of most oils into something the body does not recognize and therefore treat as something dangerous – leading to health issues…

…..How is potato chips ever healthy?

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cheeseslave March 13, 2009 at 5:20 AM

Julie – I am going to call them next week; I will ask.

Kari – It depends on the type of oil. Some oils are more heat stable than others. Olive oil is not the very best cooking oil for potato chips but it is much, much better than soybean oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, or any of the other oils you see potato chips cooked in.

Ideally potato chips should be cooked in either beef tallow, lard or palm oil, as was traditional. There are still some places in Amish country where you can buy lard potato chips.

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LeahS July 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

wow. I wish I could get lard potato chips!! My grandpa started a potato chip company and they boasted the “healthy” vegetable oils that they fried the chips in — sadly

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Anna March 13, 2009 at 6:12 AM

Hubby snags a bag of the avocado oil chips whenever we visit the local health food shop. Taste wonderful with a little (real) sour cream and onion dip!

Anna’s last blog post..Sensitivities in Asperger’s Syndrome

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Kari March 13, 2009 at 6:39 AM

indeed the traditional way is much much better than any oil used today , with perhaps the exception of coconut oil , and peanut (if I’m not mistaken, it’s been awhile since I wrote my summary on the heat effect of oils)

Unfortunately there are no Amish country in Norway – though I shall remember it.

In either case I don’t ever eat potatoes because of the high starch level.

However yummy it is, lol. Sometimes I pig out – but really, who doesn’t? lol. As long as its rare and far in between the damage can be rectified easily enough.

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cheeseslave March 13, 2009 at 6:51 AM

It is important to remember that Dr. Weston Price reversed tooth decay in children in an orphanage with just one good meal per day. They ate garbage (white flour/sugar) for the rest of their meals. So I think you can “pig out” here and there with no ill effects as long as you are eating a good healthy meal every day.

Note: the lunch he gave the orphans consisted of very nutrient dense foods including bone broth made with bone marrow, raw milk, cod liver oil, and butter oil.

PS: I should also note that I don’t think potatoes and olive oil are garbage foods. I think white flour and sugar are junk but I think potatoes and olive oil are very good for you. In moderation, like everything else. :-)

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Annie - Hip Organic Mama March 13, 2009 at 7:24 AM

I have to disagree with you here, sorry. Bringing the olive oil to that temperature for frying is not good, potatoes are harvested with such a high level of toxic chemicals that many won’t even let farm workers back on there after spraying so they use mechanical “robots” to do it, and most importantly, the very act of frying a potato at high temperatures forms the known carcinogenic acrylamides. Of course, levels of this carcinogen are much higher in the traditional chip so I will agree that this is a better alternative but it is not something I would personally recommend as a health food. But great minds can disagree. :)

Annie – Hip Organic Mama’s last blog post..Come Clean Now – Green Spring Cleaning

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cheeseslave March 13, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Hi, Annie!

It’s OK to disagree. :-)

I didn’t mean to say potato chips are a healthy food per se… I meant to say that these are a healthy variety of potato chips.

None of us are perfect in our diets. As Sally Fallon says there is good, better, and best. And some things you just want to avoid altogether. Aspartame for example — that would be an AVOID. Totally. But there other foods that you can have in moderation or to lesser amounts and it’s not going to affect you too much.

Also, there are some varieties of foods that are best and others better and some just good. For example… Doritos made from GMO corn, fried in GMO soybean oil, flavored with MSG and other additives — those would be BAD. Avoid!

But the reality is, people are tempted by snack foods. We don’t live on Walden Pond in isolation (at least I don’t). I personally find that if I offer my family healthier snack foods on occassion, they don’t crave those things and grab the very unhealthy Doritos just because they feel so starved for chips.

I do make my family real French fries (fried in organic grass-fed beef tallow) on occasion (which they LOVE) but let’s face it, I’m not going to do that every day. Or even every week. It’s nice to know that there is a potato chip I can buy that is a lot healthier than other chips out there.

As far as the organic vs. non-organic issue, I feel that it is is very important (critical really) to buy organic when it comes to meat and dairy, and when it comes to the GMO crops including corn, soy, canola and cottonseed. Nina Planck said this in her book, “Real Food” and I agree with her — it’s less of an issue to buy organic produce (unless it is one of the GMO crops).

Re: the olive oil, I called the company and they are going to get back to me re: where their olive oil comes from.

Re: the issue of olive oils vs. other oils, they did say that there are a number of reasons that they use olive oil for their chips. For one thing, if you fry with lard, they said they would have to add preservatives of some kind. Also, and this is just a reality of our modern day society’s fear of fats — most people would not buy a chip made with lard. Hopefully that will change one day — but for now, that’s where we are.

Also, they have to stay competitive with other chips price-wise. If they were to use all organic everything and fry only with organic lard, well, that would make their chips way too expensive and nobody would buy them.

It’s hard in this day and age to feed our families considering all the junk in the food supply. I just try to do the best I can. I do not try to be perfect. If I did, I would fail.

I’m personally very, very grateful for companies like Good Health Natural Products because they are creating products that are healthier — even if they are not perfect.

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henny March 13, 2009 at 10:30 AM

do you not care for chips made from lard? a local family sells some around here and they are fabulous!! I don’t like regular veggie oil chips either.

henny’s last blog post..I’m still preggers!

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cheeseslave March 13, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Anna, how do the avocado oil chips taste? I didn’t happen to get a sample of those…

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cheeseslave March 13, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Hi, Henny,

The only place I’ve seen lard potato chips is in Pennsylvania (which I see from your blog is where you are). You’re lucky to be able to buy them but most people in other parts of the country do not have access to them.

I would love to try them — can’t get them here.

Ann Marie

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Annie - Hip Organic Mama March 13, 2009 at 11:43 AM

thanks for the feedback. Remember conventional potatoes tend to be GMO nowadays too so I’d check to be sure they are decidely NOT GMO before buying, we know that organic solves that question that’s why we go for organic when we can and I do agree it’s good to have choices. In our family, potato chips just really aren’t one of them and we’re ok with that too since we think nonGMO corn chips are a great alternative on occasion

Annie – Hip Organic Mama’s last blog post..Alphabet Soup: GMO (archive for FBF)

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FoodRenegade March 13, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Wow, Anne-Marie. You generated a lot of controversy over some potato chips! I am personally with you in being thankful that there are healthier version of potato chips out there, but I also know that I would rarely buy them. Our food budget is really tight as it is, so packaged foods (even healthier packaged foods) just aren’t part of the equation!

FoodRenegade’s last blog post..Fight Back Fridays

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cheeseslave March 13, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Hi, Kristen,

Yes I understand — food budgets are tight!

For my family, treating them with the occasional healthier chips and sweets and normally forbidden foods is a way of providing an insurance policy of sorts. If they get some healthier chips, they are less likely to beg for the bad chips. They don’t feel deprived — so they don’t crave the bad stuff as much.

This is the same reason I make them homemade ice cream and homemade brownies or flourless chocolate cake or French fries made with beef tallow. Yummy treats that taste like the junk they want to eat — but these are actually nutritious.

It’s not cheap to make the homemade ice cream — I make it with raw cream ($8/pint), pastured egg yolks, and maple syrup. It would actually be a lot cheaper to buy ice cream at the store…. however, as I always say, you get what you pay for. They get so much more nutrition from the real pastured eggs and real raw cream.

So yeah, we spend more, but it’s worth it. And if nobody feels deprived, they aren’t as likely to fall off the wagon.

That’s what works for us, anyway.

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jeanne March 14, 2009 at 10:03 AM

AnneMarie,
I totally agree with providing a healthier version of snack food every now and then, limits the desire to pig out. I have older kids, I realize that they eat junk when out and about. I am always looking for a healthier version of a salty/crunchy food for packed lunches. Pretzels and Orginal Sun Chips gets boring.
I have had kettle chips made in avacado oil from a local health food store. Can not remember the brand name. They were very good and my kids actually that I had broke down and got a brand of chips we use to eat all the time.

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Carla March 14, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Anne-Marie, avocado oil chips are great! I’ve only seen them at one of our local stores (Natural Grocery Company, El Cerrito, CA) and they only offer the small bags which is just as well for me since I would eat a whole large bag if I could!

I dont even eat potato chips more than once every few weeks, so it is a good treat for me.

Carla’s last blog post..Eco Fashion: Do it yourself – Organic Fabric

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cheeseslave March 14, 2009 at 11:56 AM

That’s funny, Carla — I met the guy who owns that store! He was at Jeffrey’s Smith’s lecture on GMOs — he’s really nice.

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Carla March 14, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Small world! That is our “convenience store” when we dont want to go too far out of our way.

Carla’s last blog post..Eco Fashion: Do it yourself – Organic Fabric

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cheeseslave March 14, 2009 at 12:54 PM

It is SUCH a small world.

How LUCKY are you that that is your convenience store?!

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Carla March 14, 2009 at 12:58 PM

I definitely don’t take it for granted! :D

Carla’s last blog post..Eco Fashion: Do it yourself – Organic Fabric

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Joe March 15, 2009 at 6:05 PM

as i teenager here, i gotta say. i used to eat lays and other frito lay vegie oil crap.

i havnt eaten potato chips much lately, so i gotta check these out.
most kids my age, even nutriton students eat veggie oils and chips and food with em in it…… they look at me with bleary eyes when i tell em that thats not good for….
after all… dont we need polyunsaturates in our diet, its the Saturated and Trans fat thats bad…. right?!?!?! wrong…… well at least about sat fat….
its hard to tell them that polyunsaturates are very unstable… hence why flax oil goes bad, same with fish oil. Saturated fat is very stable and used in many body matrixs and functions… such as… the heart…
it just ticks me off when people are fed this load of rubbish.

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Eric February 2, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Ann Marie,

You may not be paying attention to comments on this story any longer because it’s been so long since the story was written, but I wanted to mention that there is a mainstream brand of potato chips that is cooked with lard. It’s Grandma Utz (http://www.utzsnacks.com/products/grandmachips.html). (It does have a couple preservatives, however, so may not appeal to all readers of your website.) This is the only kind of potato chip I eat, both because I think it tastes best and also because it should be healthier, having been cooked in lard instead of a more easily degraded vegetable oil. These chips are reasonably inexpensive as well.

I also wanted to let you know how much I love your website, and the valuable information you provide!

Kind regards,
Eric

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Ivette April 15, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Oh yes i did check out the online store, i noticed they do sell corn chips that are not organic may be GMO, YIKES!

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