Potato chips are a staple snack here in the United States.
With about one in four bags being made from Michigan potatoes, the Mitten State holds the tile of the nations largest grower of potatoes for chips.
But according to a new study in the journal “Climatic Change,” warming temperatures are making it more difficult for farmers to grow and store potatoes.
Lead author of the study, Julie Winkler, said it’s because of Michigan’s cold climate that it has been the ideal storage location to supply potatoes regularly for so long.
“The producers are looking for then a source of chipping potatoes throughout the whole year,” said Winkler. “That means because we’re colder, we can store them for part of the winter and in to the spring to supply the market during that time of year.”
So what does this mean for your favorite salty snack?
Chris Long, a co-author of the study, said those in the potato industry are working diligently to create new environments for the potatoes to compensate for the changing climate.
“In Michigan, our industry is really working to foster good soil health and soil quality so not only within the potato growing season, but also the subsequent rotational crops,” said Long.
It looks like potatoes and potato chips are staying right where they belong, rooted in Michigan.