Ever think about this? The earth-shaking question of whether or not potato chips are really necessary?
I did yesterday. My late sister and I had this tradition we’d share as young adults and later as moms when our kids were young. We’d get together with a good movie, a pack of Red Vines and two bags of barbeque-flavored potato chips. We each got our own bag. We’d watch a movie that featured a female hero…an action figure who really “kicked butt.”
Our favorite movie of all time was the 2nd in the Alien movie series – Aliens…in that movie the character Ripley, played so wonderfully by Sigourney Weaver, was first, female; second, a mom figure; and third, the hero. My sister and I both had issues in our lives that would have benefited from a Ripley – someone who could wham! pow! the bad dudes and help us save our children from hurt. Oh, well. So, we’d get together with our sodas and bbq chips.
I think one of the big themes of the late 20th century was that of health and wellness. Let’s throw out the salt and bacon, grow more lettuce, carrots and sprouts and eat orchards worth of pears, apples and apricots. And get some exercise. And enough sleep.
But yesterday I thought about potato chips. As I was enjoying them…and, yes, I really did enjoy them…I wondered about what would happen to all the thousands of jobs if suddenly the manufacture of potato chips went away. In our difficult economic climate, people need a paycheck.
Those companies who make potato chips employ lots of people. There are the potato growers. And the shippers of the raw potatoes. Then there are the companies who produce the potatoes and everyone in every part of that process from raw potato to chip-in-the bag. Then more shippers sending the tasty bags to market. That’s a great very many jobs on the line.
Here’s the big issue: are potato chips really necessary? You could say they are not good for health and wellness. You could say they are okay eaten in moderation…but who can eat just one?
For me it isn’t about health, wellness or jobs. It’s about my sister. My sister passed away in 2006 and I miss her. Yesterday I was feeling her loss and during shopping, bought a bag of bbq-flavored chips. I put on a movie later that day and…yep…ate the whole bag.
No, it’s not a healthy thing to do. Yes the popular thing is to eat fruits and veggies and scorn salt and “wasted calories.” However I’ll tell you something – no amount of sliced apples or peeled carrots could have made me feel closer to my sister’s memory than did that bag of chips.
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