Straight River: Do You Want Trout with Your
(pg 2 of 8)
The same porous glacial soils through which the
region's aquifers flow are also good for growing
potatoes. For a long time potatoes were simple
table fare, but then came McDonald's and its
imitators. Suddenly potatoes were big business.
And not just any potato would do. To create
fries with just the right whiteness and texture,
fast-food restaurants discovered that potatoes must
be perfectly uniform-grown under stable conditions,
with the right moisture content (80 percent), and
stored under conditions of absolutely consistent
temperature and humidity.
To grow these perfect potatoes, farmers could no
longer rely on the vagaries of rainfall. In fact,
the two biggest suppliers of potatoes to fast-food
restaurants, Frito-Lay and Simplot, would buy only
from farmers who irrigated their spuds.