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...and a bag of chips

 
fred rosenberger
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So I got a bag of potato chips today with my lunch. It says on it:
NET WT. 2.125 OZ. (60.24 g)

Do they REALLY weigh the chips down to the 1/1000th of an ounce? Doesn't that seem a little over-precise for a flipping BAG of CHIPS?
 
Martin Vajsar
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If you write it as 2 + 1/8, it might make more sense. It's the usual artificial precision obtained by converting an imprecise amount between different systems of units...
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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There's a guy at the factory whose job it is to make up the exact weight for each bag by crafting custom "ballast" chips. It's exacting work and it pays very well.


 
Bear Bibeault
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Does he get to eat the overages?
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Bear Bibeault wrote:Does he get to eat the overages?


No. They generally sort the fragments into bins according to their weights, to the nearest thousandth of an ounce, and by expiration date, and try to use existing fragments as needed before crafting the custom ones. The expired chip bits are used to coat fried chicken for school lunches. Nothing is wasted.
 
Martin Vajsar
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Ballast chips? Aren't they made from depleted uranium?
 
Michael Matola
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It's probably so they can get the calorie count to be some desirable number or the fat or sugar to be low enough that they can round down to zero and still be within the reporting guidelines.
 
Bear Bibeault
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So how many calories are in a microgram of depleted uranium?
 
Martin Vajsar
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Bear Bibeault wrote:So how many calories are in a microgram of depleted uranium?

My back-of-the-wikipedia calculation says that one microgram of natural uranium contains about 730 calories of nuclear energy. Depleted uranium is about 60% as radioactive, which translates to some 440 calories.

I'm not a nuclear physicist, though, so it is easily possible that I'm several orders of magnitude off the mark. And even if I'm right, I'm not sure whether consuming nuclear calories in fact adds to body fat. I doubt that the highest risk from consuming uranium ballast chips is a beer belly.
 
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