Potato Chips Are B*llshit, And We Have the Photos to Prove It

Meet the worst offenders in the chip game.

Let me know if this sounds familiar: You sit down for lunch, or football, or a movie, and tear open a bag of your favorite potato chips, your mouth watering with anticipation over those delicious, salty morsels. You reach your hand the bag and find nothing but air, with maybe a few measly chips at the bottom. Sure, a little bit of air makes sense — “slack fill,” Mental Floss notes, serves as a deliberate cushion to prevent chips from disintegrating during shipping and delivery — but often the chip-toair ratio is completely unacceptable. Just look at this shit:


No, you’re not imagining things: snack makers who advertise a bevy of delicious salty chips are truly full of hot air.

That’s where Henry Hargreaves comes in. A photographer with an environmental bent, Hargreaves set out to name and shame the biggest liars and swindlers of the your local snack aisle. From the looks of it, that’s everyone.

“Chips are a category that has always infuriated me,” Hargreaves explains in Waste of Space, a video outlining his methodology. “You hold a puffy packet, then when you open it and let the air out, you are left with a tiny pile of chips at the bottom. I wanted to investigate this issue deeper to see who were the biggest pushers of expensive air and underwhelming contents while also creating the largest carbon footprint in transportation of the unwanted chip air.”

Carbon footprint aside, more than 50 percent air in a bag of potato chips is egregious on so many levels. Cape Cod chips are the worst offenders, with 87 percent (!!!) air in their bags. They’re followed by Doritos (86 percent air), Lay’s (86 percent air), Pringles (66 percent air), Fritos (64 percent air), Wise popcorn (59 percent air), Bugles (57 percent air), and Chex Mix (56 percent air). This is garbage.

There you have it: photographic evidence that your bag of potato chips is not, in fact, all that and a bag of potato chips. Watch his whole video below.

Photos by Harry Hargreaves