5 Taters In A Bag Of Lay’s

When I was a wee lad my grandfather always had a couple of fact books on his bookshelf. I absolutely loved them, and seemed to lose track of time reading through the endless supply of information. A few decades later and nothing has changed, to this day I still enjoy learning a good ol useless bit of information. Take a look at the items below and see how just much raw material it takes to send it off to market.

Potato Chips – Four to five potatoes go into each regular sized bag of Lay’s. Lay’s buys their potatoes from 120 different potato farms spread across 25 states. The farmers who grow the potatoes for Lays use a patented potato cultivar named FL 2027. A word to the wise…don’t get caught growing this potato without permission from Frito-Lay !

Almond Milk – While homemade almond milk recipes usually call for 1 cup of almonds to 2 to 4 cups of filtered water giving you about a 10%-20% almond percentage, the stuff you buy in the store has about 2% almond percentage. That’s 98% water !!! Working out to roughly four to five almonds per serving at best. 

Parmigiano Reggiano – The sheer size and weight of a wheel of Parm is enough to throw a persons back out of alignment. Weighing in at 88 pounds per wheel Parmigiano is undoubtedly the king of cheeses. Each wheel is made with 145 gallons of cows milk. 

Wine – Each bottle of wine crams 600-800 grapes depending on density and yield. If an average bottle holds six glasses of wine, that means a glass of wine has about 100 or so grapes in it. Or a whole cluster which usually has 75-100 grapes on it. 

Peanut Butter – The National Peanut Board estimates that it take about 540 peanuts to make a 12 oz. jar of peanut butter. A jar o peanut butter is at least 90% peanuts. FDA regulations stipulate that for peanut butter to be labeled as peanut butter, it has to contain at least 90% peanuts. Roughly 3 jars of peanut butter are sold in the U.S. every second.

Butter – It takes 2.53 gallons of milk to make one pound of butter. You could easily do that if you had one cow at your disposal. In fact, with one cow you could make about 2.9 pounds of butter.

Marshmallows in a box of Lucky Charms – 287 hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers. blue moons, unicorns, rainbows and tasty red balloons are inside of a box of Lucky Charms. 

Orange Juice – Not everyone can have an orange tree in their backyard. So for those who can’t there’s Tropicana. Tropicana says that in each gallon of juice they squeeze 36 oranges. Since each orange has 10 segments that’s a total of 360 segments per gallon. 

Apple Cider – It takes roughly 36 apples to make a gallon of apple cider. It takes me about a half of a day to drink it. Did you know that each apple has five seed pockets ? They’re called carpels. 

Cheez-It – Each 16oz. box of Cheez-It’s holds 384 tasty toasty cheesy crackers.

Vodka – In each 750ml. bottle of Vodka there are about 8.5 pounds of potatoes. When done right it can be sweeter and smoother then grain based vodka, perfect for anyone that is gluten intolerant.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Olive oil is different from many of the other oils available because the fat obtained comes from the pulp of the olive. Most other oils are made from the seeds of several vegetable species. A 1 liter bottle of Olive Oil will contain approximately 5200 to 8000 olives. 

Rice – There’s a lot of individual grains of rice in that one pound bag, the interest wasn’t in counting them. I wasn’t going to go that far. Rather answer the question of; how may individual rice plants does it take to fill a one pound bag of rice ? If there’s 250,000 plants per acre and each acre yields on average 7,471 pounds, that equals .0298 pounds of rice per plant. To fill a one pound bag of rice you would need 34 rice plants.

Maple Syrup – The process to turn a bunch of maple trees into something you can put in a jar and pour all over basically anything is nothing less than magical. But just how much sap is in a  jar of maple syrup ? The ratio for “sugaring” or making maple syrup is a boiled down reduction of 40:1,  so for every 40 gallons of syrup you yield 1 gallon of maple syrup. Roughly 10 gallons should yield one quart. A good producing maple tree can drip 10 gallons of sap in a season. 

Published by Jason Stroh

I am a Los Angeles based food stylist and chef

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