Michigan is Number One in the U.S. For Potatoes and Potato Chips
Michigan is Number One when it comes to potato chips (that's ME stating that, not some lame survey). The proof is in the potato...not only were there well over twenty-five different brands of Michigan potato chips by at least twenty different companies, but Michigan is also the United States' leading grower and producer of spuds. Our tater farmers harvest no less than 1.7 BILLION pounds of potatoes each year...and it would be much more if it wasn't for a worm & fungus disease that kills up to half of our farmers' potatoes every year.
Usually by July, half of Michigan's potato crops suffer from this disease that wilts the leaves and harden the stems, causing a slow potato death. This is called the Potato Early Die Complex that is caused by microscopic worms, root lesions, and verticillium dahliae – a fungus that blocks 'tater pores and deprives them from getting the proper nutrients. It's nothing to just blow off - this disease can cost a farmer and his family a loss of $500 per acre.
Farmers have been attempting to combat this with chemical sprays, but researchers at MSU have come up with a more organic, natural solution: chicken manure, cow manure, and wood ash compost.....and it's also good for the soil.
As for Michigan's vast brands of potato chips, you'll see some in the gallery below. The Better Made Snack Food Company kicked off in Detroit in 1930 and is the only remaining 'tater chip company out of almost countless others that permeated throughout Michigan many decades ago. The more recent Uncle Ray's is still going strong.
In the 1930s, Better Made had retail shops all through Detroit, with some wisely next to movie theaters before concession stands became a staple in every movie house. Detroit and Michigan's hunger for potato chips gave rise to numerous chip companies, all eventually falling to the wayside or selling out to larger companies. Only Better Made remains to this day, processing well over sixty million pounds of potatoes a year, turning taters into chips.
Now take a look at two dozen different potato chips brands, all from Michigan!
Michigan Potato Chips
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