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REACH THE R. S
PLANT in Aberdeen, Idaho,
drive through downtown Aberdeen,
keep heading north,
named after a local
the railroad tracks where freight cars are loaded with sugar beets, drive another quarter of a mile, and you’re there. It smells like someone’s
cooking potatoes. The Simplot plant is low and square, clean and neat. The employee parking lot is filled with pickup trucks, and there’s a
big American flag flying out front. Aberdeen sits in the heart of Bingham County, which grows more potatoes than any other county in Idaho.
The Simplot plant runs twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and ten days a year, turning potatoes into french fries. It’s a small facility, by
industry standards, built in the late 1950s. It processes about a million pounds of potatoes a day.
Inside the building, a maze of red conveyer belts crisscrosses in and out of machines that wash, sort, peel, slice, blanch, blow-dry, fry, and
flash-freeze potatoes. Workers in white coats and hard hats keep everything running smoothly, monitoring the controls, checking the fries for
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- Spring '08