Flashback Friday: Potato Chip Addiction As Americana


In the December, 1982 issue of High Times, writer Bob Merlis explored the state of the potato-chip industry in Reagan-era America.

Hey, you, wipe off those greasy mitts before fingering this magazine. You’ve been eating potato chips again. No, not on your pants. Use a napkin. Okay, that’s better, but try to restrain yourself from eating any more until you’ve finished reading. No, don’t reach into that bag. Ugh! What’s the use.

Chances are you’re one of them—that’s right, you’re a potato-chip addict. You don’t crave potatoes, you’re not strung out on salt and you could probably care less about oil; but put these ingredients together, fry them all up and you’ve got a lifelong monkey on your back. But you’re not alone. Potato chips are the nation’s archetypal junk food—the cornerstone of the crunch movement and the most popular snack food anyone’s ever been able to sell the American public.

Potato chips are a big business, but an…


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