FOUNDED 185O Lenten options Pages 10, II and 12 Good Samaritan found Page 14 That's entertainment Page 1 5 Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune 9 Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1989 Snacking booklet available free ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an unprecedented effort to help Americans munch away the winter blues, February (the waiting room of months — end of winter, but not yet spring) has been declared National Snack Food Month by the Snack Food Association. During the month of February, millions of Americans will be urged to "snackertain" family and friends instead of simply entertaining them. To get Americans started on "snackertaining," SFA is offering consumers free copies of "That's Snackertainmentr a brochure on the new phenomenon of video parties. The brochure offers dozens of video reviews, suggestions for holding video parties and snack food recipes. According to a survey released by the SFA, the national trade association of salted snack manufacturers, frequent snackers range in age from 20 to 44 years old and most are married. The survey also indicates that about 80 percent of the population snacks. Why do so many Americans engage in this newly discovered pastime? Consider the trends: Americans are watching more video, less TV; and when they watch videos, they tend to watch them in groups. In addition, now that Americans are working more and having less leisure time (a 32 percent reduction in time since 1973), they're spending more time at home "cocooning." All this adds up to more at-home snacking. Those interested in receiving a free copy of the brochure may write to "That's Snackertain- ment!" Snack Food Association, 1711 King St. Suite 1, Alexandria, Va. 22314. Junk foods OK in moderation ROCHESTER, N. Y. — Your hand slides into a bag of potato chips, but a twinge of guilt makes youhestiate. Potato chips are junk food, right? Not necessarily, says a professor at the University of Rochester Medical School. "If you ask people what are junk foods, potato chips are probably one of the first things they will name," says Dr. Gilbert Forbes, who specializes in nutrition and body composition. "But if you break down the composition of potato chips, you find that they have the same amount of protein as rice and wheat, more iron than milk, less sodium than cow's milk and as much niacin as milk. They're low in thiamine and ribpflavin, but they have a bit of Vitamin C. All in all, there's more nutritional value than in apples." So we can lick the grease off our fingers, dig into the chips and cast aside that old apple-a-day adage? Well, not quite, says Forbes. "The real point is that some of the foods that get labeled as 'junk' are perfectly wholesome — in moderation." "There are two pitfalls in allowing our children to fall into the 'fast food' habit as a steady diet," he says. "One is that the hamburger-shake-and-fries diet has no variety — no green vegetables, no fruit — and it's the variety of nutrients that is essential to good health. "The other problem is that the convenience and cheapness of fast food restaurants tend to result in over-eating and turn into obesity.'' Crunchy mix is great snack Lower in fat and sodium than many snacks, this crunchy mix makes a great after-school or TV nibble. To trim preparation time, you can substitute a 6-ounce package of mixed fruit bits for the apricots and raisins. Fruit and oat nibble mix 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup mixed nuts '/2 cup shredded coconut »/4 cup toasted wheat germ Vz cub honey 2 tablespoons cooking oil V4 teaspoon ground allspice 1 cup dried apricots, snipped Vfe cup raisins Stir together oats, nuts, coconut and what germ. Combine honey, oil and allspice. Drizzle half the honey mixture over oat mixture. Toss. Repeat with remaining honey mixture. Spread mixture in a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan. Bake in 300- degree oven 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer to another greased pan; cop) without stirring. Break mixture into bite- sized pieces. Stir in apricots and raisins. Store in an airtight container. Makes 7 cups. Yo, snackers, it's your month NEW YORK (AP) - Think pretzels, peanuts and potato chips. The Snack Food Association has declared February National Snack Food Month. Surveys indicate that 80 percent of the American population snacks — many in front of the television while watching videos. Frequent snackers range in age from 20 to 44, and most are married. "Americans are watching more video, less TV, and when they watch videos, they tend to watch them in groups," the Association says. In addition, "now that Americans are working more and having less leisure time, they're spending more time 'cocooning' and more time snacking while they relax." America's favorite snack foods include: potato chips, tortilla chips, salted nuts, corn chips, pretzels and popcorn. Snack foods are versatile. You can garnish green beans with sliced salted almonds; use crushed pretzels in place of bread or cracker crumbs; or crumble corn chips into triple decker, toasted cheese, and bacon-lettuce-and tomato sandwiches. Sprinkle coarsely chopped peanuts on curries and stew, toss them over salads, or mix them into buttered vegetables. Substitute long, thick pretzel sticks for breadsticks, or use them to accompany soups. The following are some suggestions from the Snack Food Association: • For a quick new winter vegetable, it's potato chips by any other name. Just add fire. Spread on a cookie sheet in a 275-degree oven, the familiar snack becomes "game chips," as the English call them. • Turn any dish of ice cream into a super sundae with quick and nutty hot fudge. Just heat four or five different candy bars in a saucepan over low heat until meltdown. Stir in some cream to smooth out and add a cup of chopped peanuts. Yum. • Keep coarsely chopped peanuts in an air-tight jar in the fridge to turn ho-hum winter dishes into real winners. Sprinkle on curries and stew, toss over salads and mix into butter veggies. Celebrate National Snack Food Month with a circus of tasty treats (Photo provided) Celebrate with treats like these It's National Snack Food Month. Why not treat your family of performers to an evening of snacking with a circus theme? Whether your family is planning to attend a circus, throw a circus party, or if it just seems like a three-ring circus at home, these snacks are sure to be a whip- cracking hit. Del Monte Kitchens created these recipes. Chili popcorn 3 quarts popped popcorn V» cup butter, melted 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons chili powder '/4 teaspoon ground cumin V4 teaspoon salt Place popcorn in large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients; drizzle over popcorn. Toss to coat evenly and serve. Calico circus chews '/i cup butter or margarine 2 teaspoons cinnamon 3 cups crushed cornflakes l l /2 cups golden raisins 16-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces 114-ounce can sweetened condensed milk V/2 cups chopped walnuts Melt butter in 13-by-9-inch pan; add cinnamon. Layer corn flakes, raisins and chocolate pieces. Drizzle with milk. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, cool. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Pitcher punch 146-ounce can fruit punch, chilled 1 cup unsweetened grapefruit juice, chilled 112-ounce can orange soda, chilled Icecubes In large pitcher, combine punch and grapefruit juice; mix well. Just before serving, add orange soda and ice. Garnish with orange slices if desired. Seyfert found home for his snacks By Dawne Lisa Putt Tribune assistant People editor FORT WAYNE, Ind. - In 1933, Charles Seyfert left his home in Pennsylvania and drove his pretzel truck to Chicago for the World's Fair. On his way back home, he passed through Fort Wayne, liked what he saw of the northeastern Indiana town, and stopped there to begin a pretzel-making business. Unfortunately, according to Seyfert Foods employee Linda Mitchell, although pretzels were Seyfert's dream, Fort Wayne wasn't ready for pretzels at that time and the businessman went broke. After a trip back home to Pennsylvania to gather equipment, Seyfert returned to Fort Wayne and started a potato chip operation. This time, the snack food entrepreneur was successful. "A Century of Progress" was the theme of the Chicago World's Fair of 1933-34. More than a half- century of progress is what Seyfert's has undergone since its founder left the fair, came to Fort Wayne and started the business. When Seyfert's opened its doors Aug. 20, 1934, the operation was much different than today's. Charles Seyfert did everything himself — from peeling potatoes to making chips to delivering the finished product. Today, miles and miles of conveyor belts carry the raw ingredients, cooked snacks and bags of goodies from one area of the plant to another. The conveyor belts save uncounted steps, Mitchell said. For example, without them, workers would have to load pallets with boxes of bagged snacks by hand and then move them with forklifts. The modern plant at the intersection of Ind. 3 and Interstate 69 was built in 1964, she said. Equipment continues to be updated. One machine weighs snacks, separates them into quantities for bagging, fills the bags and seals them. It also dates the package and stamps on a price. That one machine does the work eight people did three years ago, Mitchell said. Advanced equipment has allowed Seyfert's to add a full-time night staff instead of laying off workers, she said. Seyfert's has more than 150 workers at the plant, and a similar number of people in sales, distribution and other positions. The Fort Wayne company, which became a part of Borden in 1982, has a fleet of 27 sales trucks and 13 semitractor-trailers for local hauling. Other sales trucks deliver Seyfert's products to towns across Indiana, from Marion to Muncie, from Michigan City to Indianapolis and points in-between (like Kokomo and Logansport). The Grand Rapids area and other parts of Michigan also are served. In Ohio, Seyfert's sells Buckeye brand potato chips. Although the factory in Fort Wayne is the only one with the ?, Seyfert's name, some Seyfert's (: products are made at other Borden factories, Mitchell said. And Seyfert's makes other Borden products at the Fort Wayne plant. Jay's, Snacktime and Wise are some of the brand names that roll off Seyfert's conveyor belts. Mitchell said although the different brands' pretzel recipes vary slightly, the potato chips that go in the Seyfert's, Jay's, Wise and Buckeye bags are virtually the same. Borden is No. 2 in snack food sales, second only to giant Frito Lay, she said. January through March is the slow time for snack food sales, Mitchell said, perhaps the reason behind the Snack Food Association's decision to make February National Snack Food Month. People are dieting after the Christmas holidays, Mitchell speculated, and watching their budgets closely. She said business generally picks up after Easter. Linda Mitchell Leads Seyfert's tours Fort Wayne factory turns out treats FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Giant smokestacks send forth what looks like white smoke into the air from the aqua-colored Seyfert's building along Interstate 69. But it's not news to the noses of drivers along this route that the cloud-like puffs aren't smoke, they're puffs of wonderful-smelling steam, filled with the essence of cooking potatoes. The dip in about 1,200 gallons of hot blended oil is the middle step in the path from potatoes to chips at Seyfert Foods. Let's start at the beginning. Linda Mitchell, a Seyfert's employee whose duties include running the personnel office and company store, also gives tours. Her fellow tour guide is Myrtle Young, a potato chip inspector who is famous for her collection of chips that look like other things — things like puppy dogs and four- leaf clovers. Young has appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.'' Raw product Mitchell said Seyfert's gets its raw product for potato chips by following the potato growing season around the country, starting with potatoes from Florida in March and April, and ending with ones from northern states in September. To carry the company through the winter, potatoes are bought late in the season and stored. Seyfert's has storage area for 4 to 6 million pounds of potatoes, Mitchell said. Because of the drought, this year is the first year Seyfert's wasn't able to fill the storage area, she added. Storage areas are climate-controlled and kept dark, Mitchell said. Anyone who needs to enter the areas does so with a flashlight. Four pounds of potatoes make a 1-pound bag of chips, Mitchell said. First the skins are rubbed off the potatoes by machine, then they tumble past inspectors on a conveyor belt. The inspectors pull potatoes with bad spots and cut out the spots and cut large potatoes in half before sending them on their way. Next, the potatoes go through a machine that slices them. The type of blades in the machine determine whether the slices will become regular or curly chips, Mitchell said. The potato slices next travel through a wash cycle designed to remove as much sugar and starch as possible, since these are the elements that cause potatoes to burn during cooking, she said. Then the slices go through a dryer before going into the hot oil mixture. Employees check periodically to make certain the cooking oil is the correct temperature, and that the machinery is working correctly, Mitchell said. A slow conveyor belt allows the chips to drain as they are moved away from the cooking unit, and it is at this point that they are salted. Then a vibrating belt shakes off excess salt and oil and churns the chips so inspectors can spot bad ones. Different shades of chips, from golden to brown, occur because of the different varieties of potatoes and different times of year they are used, Mitchell explained. This year, some farmers were late getting their potato crops out of the field and the result was partially- frozen potatoes. These have caused browner chips, she said. Flavored potato chips — Seyfert's makes barbecue and sour cream and onion — are brought down a conveyor belt plain, then move through a revolving drum where the powdered flavoring is tumbled on. Finished chips travel, again by conveyor belt, to a machine that weighs them, fills and seals the bags, and stamps on the date and price. The potato chip bags are made of a special film that filters light because light is an enemy of fresh potato chips, Mitchell said. They are sealed with a cushion of air to keep the chips from being crushed. Workers pack bags of chips into boxes and label them with colored tape. The boxes move on conveyer belts to the "flow rack," a type of storage area, where they wait to be loaded onto trucks. Potato chips made today could be on grocery store shelves tomorrow, Mitchell said. Pretzel passion Potato chips possibly are the most well-known snack food, but pretzels were Charles Seyfert's passion when he stopped in Fort Wayne in 1934. He probably would be surprised to see the pretzel operation of his factory today. Charles Seyfert's son, Joseph, still works at the plant, Mitchell said. Today, pretzel sticks are cooked in lengths of 200 feet or so, then broken. If they were cut before they were cooked, the ends would burn, Mitchell explained. From a vat of dough — 400 pounds of dough is mixed at a time — lengths squeeze through a piece of machinery in long strings. On a conveyer belt, the strings move through a soda solution that gives them shine and allows salt to stick, then travel under the salting apparatus. They move through a 500-degree oven, then are broken by machine and taken on a conveyor belt to an air-conditioned packaging area. The cooked snack foods must be cooled before being packaged so condensation doesn't form inside the packages, Mitchell explained. Pretzels take about 1 hour to travel from dough to package, she said. Pretzels are weighed and packaged in much the same way as potato chips, Mitchell said. Packers in pretzel and potato chip areas make sure the bags are being cut right by the machine, sealed correctly and filled with the right amount of product. Bags that are not sealed correctly, contain too much or not enough of the product, or which contain too many broken pieces, are set aside. These bags are opened and the product is recycled through the machine. Seyfert's tries to recycle as much as possible, Mitchell said. Boxes are recycled six or eight times, starch byproduct is sold for soap-making, and potato pieces that are discarded because they are too small go to the manufacture of animal food.
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