Organic Potato Chips Scam

I don’t keep much junk food in my pantry, as I don’t like my kids eating too much high calorie food. Also if I know it’s there I will invariably eat it and get fat. Fortunately, I’m generally too lazy to go shopping when an urge to eat junk food hits. So if it’s not here at home I won’t do anything about it.

Instead, every Tuesday at my house is “Junk Food Night”. My kids get to have anything they want, and I will go out and buy it. My 17 year old will choose something like a family size meat-lovers pizza with BBQ sauce. My 10 year old usually wants a “slushie”, frozen coke sugar laden thing, so last Tuesday off we went to the local all-night petrol (gas) station.

It was there I spied some “Organic” potato chips. My skeptical “spidey senses” started to tingle…….

Lets break it down from the information on the pack:

OK so they are made from organic grains. This means they are chemically and nutritionally equivalent to scientifically farmed grains but we need to cut down twice as much rain forest to grow them and they cost more. There is no scientifically proven health advantage to organic food. Just a profit advantage if you happen to sell it.

There is nothing wrong with Gluten. Nothing at all. It makes our bread have a nice texture. Humans have been consuming it from the dawn of agriculture. Like most marketing, the Gluten fad is just a way to make us feel bad and choose more expensive options.

And soy is suddenly evil? Please. Likewise dairy it’s a choice, not a question of nutrition. I’ve never met a cow I didn’t like. Especially served medium rare.

Whole grain is good, if the micro-nutrients survive deep frying in boiling oil.

There is nothing wrong with GMO. Another scam where scientifically proven benefits are being held back by fear, uncertainty, and doubt. We have been modifying the genetic material in everything we eat for centuries through selection.

Kosher is a religious choice and has nothing to do with nutrition.

Speaking of nutrition, lets compare the nutritional content per 100g to a Big Mac:

Item Big Mac Organic Chips
Energy 1030 kJ 1996 kJ
Protein 12.5 g 12.5 g
Carbohydrates 17.6 g 66 g
Fat 13.5 g 22.4 g
Sodium 427 mg 343 mg

This is very high energy food. It is exactly this sort of food that is responsible for first world health problems like cardio-vascular disease and diabetes. The link between high calorie snack food and harm is proven – unlike the perceived benefits of organic food. The organic label on these chips is dangerous, irresponsible marketing hype to make us pay more and encourage consumption of food that will hurt us.


Give Us Our Daily Bread – A visit to a modern wheat farm.

Energy Equivalents of a Krispy Kreme Factory – How many homes can you run on a donut?

10 thoughts on “Organic Potato Chips Scam”

  1. Hi David,

    A creative solution of a real problem :).

    I ran across a very incisive and insightful place on the web. Curiously the stuff was written before I was born. I suspect you too will find it VERY interesting.

    journeytoforever (dot) org (slash) farm_library. Various articles. See the MedTest directory [medical testament].

    Various other articles and books were for me stuff I couldn’t put down.

    Weston A. Price’s book is there. See Chapter 19 of his book for example. And many others. Enjoy!

    warm regards,


  2. I suppose you can say your blog is popular enough to attract bot comments, congrats! (that’s re “John’s” comment thanking you for a solution).

    Now back to your article. You say “There is nothing wrong with Gluten”. Well, actually, you are wrong here. There are people with celiac disease and gluten is a big no-no for them. And guess what, they like their food to be labelled as “gluten-free”.

    Now let’s go into finer shades of gray – there’s also, lo and behold, a “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” which is apparently also a scientific thing. It’s relatively new, yes, but there’s some solid evidence backing its existence.

    Same goes for soy, GMO and the rest – there are arguments, not necessarily related to nutrition per se, than influence people’s choices.

    1. John (first comment) makes regular comments on my blog and I welcome debate on all views here, even those different to mine.

      Yes, I have a Celiac friend. I deliberately left a qualification out as it’s an exception, not a rule. The alt-med and organic “woo” has been unfairly stacked against Gluten – usually without looking at the science. Gluten is not a poison. It’s food. People are sensitive to all sorts of things that are perfectly good food for others.

  3. My dad was born and raised on a farm. My grandfather got 160 acres in 1905 for free in North Dakota (a very cold and desolate place). He was Scandinavian though, and they have an affinity to below freezing. They can make anything grow.

    Anyway, dad advised to *never* eat grain. Grain is what they fed the animals before slaughter. Grain is strictly for animals. It basically causes your body to marble the meat and make it tasty. If we could cook humans who were diabetics (most slaughtered animals are fully diabetic after all the grain), then humans would be top dollar at the meat counter.

    My mother was a chef, so we always had a garden out back. When I said I wanted some candy sweets, she would give me a carrot and an onion :-) She used a lot of sugar though, just not squeezed into candy. She cooked for seven, and weighed 95 pounds wet. I could never be a chef and not eat what I was cooking!

  4. Hi All,

    “Gluten intolerance” and related stuff seem to me to have 2 causes.

    Sally Fallon [] suggests it is caused by early feeding certain grains to the very young with inadequate healthy colesterol in their diets. A recent interview of her in AcresUSA is pretty incisive about this effect.

    I wonder if the other issue is that apparently ‘non-organic’ farmers ‘clean’ their grain with Roundup shortly before/after harvest. This most probably kills some gut flora in us.

    A careful reading of and his Friday success stories implies to me that poisons in the grain and beans may have the side effect of HUGE weight gains in some persons and a host of other symptoms?

    My real question today is how can I measure my wheat berries [seeds] and beans for the present of pesticides. The best answer I have found so far is to grow multi-pots of some sensitive plant and pour the wash water from the grains or beans in question an see what the effect of their growth is. I wonder how the ‘labs’ measure for the presence of this sort of stuff.

    I have not yet tried the above method myself.

    Lots of fun :).


  5. The long-term effects of GMO are largely unknown as its relatively new, but some studies suggest that there may be big implications within a few generations.

    Links are also being found between gluten intolerance and the use of non-organic sprays.

    Another thing is that much of the research conducted by universities especially those located in the US are receiving research grants from organizations such as Monsanto making their findings not exactly unbias.

    And lastly when you see stuff like this, it doesn’t exactly foster trust for these huge corporations.

    Obviously my view points are a very different, and likely we won’t know for another 20 or 30 years what the true results really are, and by then it may be too late for our children / grandchildren.
    As a big believer in the open source movement I believe that not only should we know what’s in our software but also what’s in our food. And those are my thoughts :)

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for you comments.

      Yes bias is something that must be carefully managed. The science will come through in the end.

      There was a recent interview on SGU (Skeptics Guide to Universe) with a university researcher who was hounded by anti-GMO fanatics. So that can run both ways.

      The argument that “we won’t know for 20 or 30 years and then it will be too late” is based on fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and not science. There is some science to demonstrate real benefits from GMO today, for example pest resistance or extra vitamins built into food.

      Actually with GMO you know exactly what’s in your food – it’s been designed.

      – David

      1. Some GMO produces results which could never be done by selection, such as splicing a fish gene into a strawberry to fight mold on the skin. If these experiments go wrong, they are hard to recall because life is resistant to extermination.

        Organic farming alters the environment around the plant less, such as not poisoning the less-well-known pollinating insects, or soil microbes, or molds and fungi, or who knows what else. Soil is a complicated ecosystem, and plants don’t synthesize everything they contain. How many vitamins are supposed to end up in food because the plant collected them from other things living in the soil? If you sterilize soil by fumigation at the beginning of the season, are your potatoes then hydroponic?

        Humans evolved eating a wide variety of things, including dirt, insects, and pesticides produced by the food plants. Humans did not evolve eating large amounts of HFCS, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, MSG, added antibiotics and hormones in meat, and food with fiber removed by processing. The human nutritional puzzle is more complicated than just energy content as measured in a calorimeter, which has different chemical decomposition mechanisms than the human digestion pathways.

        We didn’t know that low-fat-healthy-whole-grains was bad for diabetes and “metabolic syndrome” for 20 or 30 years, and now it is too late for the diabetics. The biggest fraction of wheat is starch, which is composed of two sugars. Same for cholesterol being “bad”. The “science” hid those truths. I can’t point to a memo big pharma sent to big ag and big government saying to subsidize grains and promote them and we can get rich on the maintenance drugs. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this had been accidentally discovered, then carefully enhanced by design. What bad stuff is hiding in GMO and non-organic which we will learn about in 30 years? Given the low-fat track record, you ask me to trust those same news sources again? Sure they lied before, but now they’ve repented and are telling the whole truth? Grow trees to sequester the “pollutant” CO2, yet when I go to the beach sea level hasn’t risen? Where is that melted glacier water going? Pull my other leg.

        1. I note you post anonymously. Next comment with a valid email address and name please.

          Soil chemistry, nutrition, and digestion can and will be established by science – not vague assertions and generalizations of “organic” and “natural”. There is nothing magic about nature that we cannot work out.

          Science discovered the link between diabetes and nutrition, and other diseases of affluence. No one hid anything – science is a process of discovery. Old theories get overturned based on evidence. Only in dogma is their certainty. We are only now probing diseases of affluence as we are so newly affluent – it’s new territory, unique in history. Never before have we had more than enough calories.

          No you can’t point at a memo as it doesn’t exist. It’s part of the dogmatic beliefs, wild speculation, and totally unsupported views in your final paragraph.

  6. Good read.

    I love bringing up GMO foods with certain types. We have been modifying food at a genetic level since the dawn of time, selecting the better crops, livestock, and even pets. I can however appreciate that it’s happening at a faster rate today but I think the blanket “someone think of the children” cries are a bit over the top.

    I do query your “dairy is a choice”, do you mean eating meat or consuming dairy milk? As someone who does not have a good time… after having even a small amount of milk, it is something I look for on packets.

    …they are just chips lol
    But there defiantly a noticeable marking push to get the world to believe that all organic things a better and healthier. Cyanide is organic and water is a chemical :)

    (Sorry for the bit of rambling)

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