Peanut Butter

A few years ago, Recycla’s family was  traveling in England and went to a grocery store to pick up some supplies for a picnic, including peanut butter for their daughters’ sandwiches.

They immediately noticed that it was very different from American peanut butter — not as smooth and definitely not as sweet. A look at the ingredients list showed just two things: peanuts, salt. That was it. The family liked the peanut butter and happily snacked on it with freshly-baked bread every day. But when they got home, they continued buying and eating the Very Well Known (not organic or natural) peanut butter they had been eating for years.

Later that year, they went to Canada and, while there, had peanut butter again. As with its British counterpart, Canadian peanut butter was much simpler than the American version — just peanuts and a little salt. And, again, the family really liked it.

When the family returned home, Recycla did some research. Unlike the British and Canadian peanut butters, the American stuff her family had been eating contained more than just two ingredients, including sugar and hydrogenated oils. While this isn’t horrible, the fact is, peanut butter is already oily, so more oil isn’t needed. And sugar is definitely not necessary, especially since so many people eat jelly on their PB&J’s.

The family decided to make the switch to a peanut butter that contains just two ingredients. They found several options, including the Whole Foods house brand. It’s simple, it’s yummy, and best of all, it’s not expensive.

While conventional vs. organic peanut butter is more of a health thing and isn’t a huge deal in the eco spectrum, Recycla encourages you to try something other than the major brands that contain excess oils and sugars. If you think the new texture and flavor won’t fly with picky palates, try cutting in some of the new stuff with the old stuff, then gradually phase out the old stuff.

If enough people switch away from the extra oily, extra sweet peanut butter, it will send a message to manufacturers that Americans don’t want the extra ingredients. In fact, the Big Peanut Butter Companies appear to have already received the message, as they all now offer “natural” peanut butters. Unfortunately, those versions still contain more than just two ingredients, including sugar and palm oil.

Tell the Eco Women: Do you eat peanut butter? If so, have you tried the organic stuff? And, are you a creamy or chunky peanut butter person?

Photo credits: Yahoo Images.

14 thoughts on “Peanut Butter

  1. We eat Laura Scudders, because it comes in glass jars. My family likes chunky and I like smooth.
    And in my family, we eat peanut butter with mayonnaise. Delish.

  2. I get the Smucker’s Natural. I don’t go out of my way for organic, but I don’t see any need for added sugar (or anything else). I thought my kids would object, but they like it just fine.

  3. I started my daughter on the natural stuff when she was little, so she doesn’t like the sweet kind. That’s been nearly 14 years…we all like it, can’t imagine using the other now. Also, try bakery bread, rather than the icky, preservative-laden stuff…has the benefit of also supporting local business and not supporting long-haul trucking…

  4. That’s all we’ve eaten since well before the kiddos were born. I can’t stand the “mainstream” versions. Really. Who needs HFCS in peanut butter?!? (Note: This may no longer be the case, but it was when I made the switch nearly 10 years ago.) I’ve also been known to make my own nut butters when the urge strikes. Then I can make it as salty as I like, or make it with something other than peanuts!

  5. From what I understand, the reason that oil is on the list of ingredients isn’t because they are adding extra oil, it’s because peanut oil is very expensive, so the companies extract the peanut oil from the peanut solids and sell it separately and replace it with another cheaper vegetable oil to make the peanut butter buttery. That said, we still like Kraft smooth peanut butter.

  6. Two ingredient peanut butter for me, please! My general rule of thumb is, the fewer the ingredients, the better. I switched years ago and find the “other stuff” disgusting now. (I usually buy the Teddie brand.)

  7. Our family used to eat Adams exclusively. But we are BIG PB eaters – literally – so we eat other brands too now – it helps my grocery budget to not be too picky.

  8. I buy Laura Scudders organic. First, because it only has 1 ingredient (not even salt!). That means that lots of ingredients didn’t travel huge distances to come together to be made into peanut butter. Second, it comes in glass jars. This means that toxic chemicals aren’t leaching out of plastic into highly absorptive oily peanut butter. Also, I clean the jars and that is what we use as drinking glasses. My kids never noticed a thing when I switched!

  9. I make my own.I buy organic peanuts, put them in the food processor, a little bit, 1 T.of olive oil and pulse for about 10 seconds!makes tons!

  10. Being British I prefer the more natural stuff that we tend to get. In fact, it always comes as a surprise just how sweet so many things are in the US that we would consider savoury back home. Even bread (in many cases, not all). Having said that we still have huge amounts of rubbish pumped into our food too.

  11. Here’s how to keep your peanut butter from separating! Stir the peanut butter hard to incorporate all the natural oil. Store upside down overnight in the fridge. Voila! you can now store your peanut butter in the pantry and it will not separate!

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