Potato Chips – Tasty and Green!

January 16th, 2014 BY Heather Utendorf | 2 Comments

Two potato chip makers are going green. Kettle Chips and Frito-Lay both are innovators in their field doing great things to lead the industry in more eco-friendly direction. They are making strides in their chosen energy sources, energy consumption and the waste disposal.

Frito-Lay took a long hard look at the energy needed to make their tasty treats and recently announced an Arizona plant will soon go off the grid. The redesign of the plant will reduce the energy and water consumption by nearly 90 percent. The company has also devised plans to utilize the waste from potatoes chips. For example, peelings from the potatoes will go back to the earth to fertilize the farm land and special filters in use to recycle wastewater to later help power the factory.

Besides these large changes in the factory, Frito-Lay is taking smaller steps to create a green work environment. New, more efficient ovens were installed and they purchased vacuums that remove more moisture from the potatoes before they cook. The reason? The less moisture there is in the potatoes, the less heat needed in cooking.

Kettle Chips recently won Leeds (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status from U.S. Green Building Council. The prestigious award shows the Kettle Chips is among the greenest manufacturers in the U.S. Here are some of the incredible reasons they won:

• More than 35 percent of our building materials come from within 500 miles of the project site.

• Our countertops are made from 100% recycled paper and are formaldehyde free.

• Unless it’s due to chili peppers, we don’t want our employees, or our chips, getting too hot so we designed our roof to reduce the amount of heat absorbed unnecessarily.

• More than 16 million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution will not enter the atmosphere because 100 percent of our electricity will be offset with the purchase of renewable wind power and through the use of our own wind turbines.

• Employees don’t have to step outside to get a breath of fresh air – specially designed air handling systems circulate filtered fresh air in the building.

• The wind turbines on our roof will generate enough energy to produce 56,000 bags of potato chips each year.

With these two leaders in the chip industry, others will soon follow.

  1. james b

    Great article and thanks for sharing. It is awesome to hear of Frito’s desire to facilitate an environmentally-friendly manufacturing plant and even to receive LEED certification, but I wonder how long it will take Frito Lay to come up with a recycleable or compostable packaging solution. What about diverting some of the waste that all of us consumers have to deal with?

  2. Almost Vegetarian

    Fascinating. But even better, it is pretty easy (if a little time-consuming) to make chips at home. And healthier, too. All you do is slice them thin, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt to any spice you like, then place on a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 450 f for 5 – 10 minutes/side (keep an eye on them – depending on how thick you cut them, the baking time can be more or less, by a goodly amount).


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