Are Pringles Potato Chips?

By Marion Nestle
nestle may27 pringles post.jpg

Photo by Siomuzzz/Flickr CC

Ah, the British. So ahead of us in so many ways. A British court has ruled that Pringles have enough potato in them to qualify as crisps (translation: potato chips) and, therefore, are subject to a Value Added Tax of 15%. Procter & Gamble, the maker of Pringles, argued against the tax. Pringles, it says, are not crisps. Why? Because their shape and packaging are "not found in nature." Tough, said the court. Pringles are 42% potato. That's enough to qualify them as crisps. Under the law, crisps get taxed.

Pringles are 42% potato? OK, but what else do they contain? Here's the ingredient list: DRIED POTATOES, VEGETABLE OIL, RICE FLOUR, WHEAT STARCH, MALTODEXTRIN, SALT AND DEXTROSE. CONTAINS WHEAT INGREDIENTS. (You will be relieved to note: No artificial ingredients. No preservatives.)

Hey: potatoes are the first ingredient! I say tax 'em.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/05/are-pringles-potato-chips/18290/