Hot Chips take out Ki­wis’ fave treat

It’s of­fi­cial - our love for hot chips knows no bounds. Renowned ZM ra­dio sta­tion hosts – Fletch, Vaughan and Meghan re­cently held a ‘Food Fight – Kiwi Treats Edi­tion’ where much-loved New Zealand treats were pit­ted against each other and voted by lis­tene

NZ Grower - - Product Groups - Kate Un­der­wood, Train­ing and Ed­u­ca­tion Man­ager, The Chip Group

And the win­ner…Hot chips! Beat­ing out 28 other treats in­clud­ing the likes of pineap­ple lumps, fruit burst, cookie time cook­ies and a pie from the lo­cal diary. This in­evitable ob­ses­sion for hot chips is en­grained in our cul­ture and doesn’t ap­pear to be chang­ing any time soon…

Based on this love, a vast con­sump­tion of hot chips are be­ing eaten ev­ery week through­out this coun­try and when poorly pre­pared th­ese chips can be high in fat and not good for our health. Con­tribut­ing to ris­ing lev­els in obe­sity, heart dis­ease, di­a­betes and a range of se­ri­ous health is­sues. This is where the Chip Group comes in… our un­der­ly­ing goal is to ‘im­prove the nu­tri­tional qual­ity of deep fried chips’ sold in New Zealand. That means work­ing to re­duce to­tal fat, sat­u­rated fat and sodium lev­els in hot chips na­tion­wide.

As an in­dus­try we sim­ply can’t con­trol the amount of chips be­ing con­sumed, but what we can at­tempt to con­trol is the way that th­ese hot chips are be­ing pre­pared. When chip op­er­a­tors make a few small changes to the way they cook their chips, they can re­duce the to­tal fat con­tent by up to 20%. Our free train­ing pro­motes sim­ple, achiev­able tech­niques that cover ev­ery as­pect of deep fry­ing – from serv­ing size, cook­ing time, tem­per­a­ture, bas­ket drainage and type of oil.

Our in­no­va­tive ap­proach works by fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing the food sup­ply (the food that is avail­able to pur­chase) and mak­ing a change to the prod­uct, with­out the cus­tomer hav­ing to change be­hav­iour. Based on how many hot chips we eat, on a pop­u­la­tion scale even a slight re­duc­tion in the fat con­tent of each scoop of chips, na­tion­ally can make a HUGE dif­fer­ence to the amount of un­nec­es­sary fat be­ing con­sumed.

Through our train­ing work­shops we want those who at­tend to learn to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the food they pro­duce, and re­alise that they play a cru­cial role in im­prov­ing the health of New Zealan­ders. As show­cased back in 2013 with the Mata­mata Town Makeover 10 lo­cal op­er­a­tors were em­pow­ered to help re­move a whop­ping 1711kg of fat (three trailer loads!) from the lo­cal food sup­ply over one year – so just imag­ine how much could be re­moved if all our

chip­pies fol­lowed suit.

The Chip Group has re­leased up­dated train­ing cer­tifi­cate’s which now in­clude a ‘valid un­til’ date. The plan here is that cer­tifi­cates will ‘ex­pire’ an­nu­ally, so in or­der to re­ceive a new cer­tifi­cate, op­er­a­tors will be en­cour­aged to com­plete chip train­ing and up­skill ev­ery year. Our free on­line pro­gramme pro­vides a tool that al­lows any in­di­vid­ual and/ or business owner the op­por­tu­nity to learn how to re­duce cost, make more money and most im­por­tantly be em­pow­ered to re­duce fat con­tent and im­prove New Zealand’s health so we can all keep en­joy­ing our favourite Kiwi treat!

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