The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: snack foods

January 3, 2012

The Trouble With Homemade Tater Tots

On New Years Day, I decided I needed some fried potatoes to go with the homemade ketchup my friend Mark and I had made the previous week. And not just any fried potatoes. No siree. I wanted the king of fried potato junk food goodness: greasy, crispy Tater Tots. But authentic Tater Tots come in a plastic bag, so I’d have to see if I could make them myself. As always, Google was right there with the answer. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats had reverse engineered the tater tot and provided an easy-to-follow recipe, one that looked like it would win the Napoleon Dynamite stamp of approval.

But making homemade Tater Tots turned out not to be the plastic-free, waste-free process I had hoped for. I’ll explain what I mean further in this post. First, the recipe:

Homemade Tater Tots: Step by Step


2 pounds russet potatoes (I actually used 2 large potatoes, about 1-1/2 pounds) 2 quarts peanut, vegetable, or canola oil (I actually used a… Read the rest
October 10, 2010

SunChips Discontinues Compostable Bag. Do We Care?

Today is 10/10/10, Climate Action Day. It’s also the week that Pepsico discontinued its new compostable SunChips snack bags due to complaints that the bags are too noisy. (See my comparison video below.) So what do global climate change and compostable snack bags have to do with each other? Well, I’ll admit it’s a stretch, but read on and I’ll explain how I think they’re connected and also why I haven’t written about the new bags until now.

The SunChips Compostable Bag Story

Last year, Pepsico announced it would be selling its SunChips snack food in compostable bags made from PLA (polylactic acid), which is a polymer made from plants rather than petroleum. The PLA used in the SunChips bags comes from corn and reportedly, it would compost in both commercial compost facilities and backyard compost heaps. That’s good news for snack food junkies, right? No more plastic bags to last in the landfill for a thousand… Read the rest