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Do all processed potatoes come from Idaho?

Q:

I see lots of ads in foodservice magazines for processed potatoes; do they all come from Idaho?

A:

  The short answer is no. A home address for a company, such as Boise, Idaho is no guarantee that the potatoes in the box are actually from Idaho. Most French fry or dehydrated processors have multiple plants and while the headquarters may be listed as Idaho or the Marketing offices are in Idaho that doesn't mean the potatoes came from within the borders of Idaho. An example, right across the river next to the border of Idaho in Oregon is a potato processing plant. Some years much of the product may come from Idaho, but mostly it is now from Eastern Oregon. A guarantee is that you see the "Grown in Idaho" seal on the package or box. While "made with 100% USA Potatoes" or "Grown with Northwest Potatoes" is admirable, it means the product could be coming from multiple states, rather than just one. By the way, terms such as "select potatoes" do not reflect any USDA grading standards, the more common terms you may hear are extra-long and fancy (which can denote many of the potatoes in the bag or box are a length that is longer than average) or "line flow" which is usually an economical pack of shorter lengths of potatoes.  The shorter length is less expensive, saving you money, but can cost more if the potatoes have a lower solids content and the bits and pieces absorb more oil.

A little known fact: Idaho is the only state bordered by six other states and one foreign country. Washington and Oregon on the West, Nevada and Utah on the South, Wyoming and Montana on the East and on the North Idaho borders British Columbia Canada.