The Peanut Butter Rant

You know, I have strong opinions about a lot of subjects besides homosexuality. Homosexuality is not the only thing I think about, and not the only thing I'm capable of ranting about. There are many other important topics which I am capable of holding forth about, and starting with this rant I am holding forth on a topic unrelated to homosexuality. In this case, the topic is peanut butter.

I am fortunate to have this platform of free speech from which to attack the horrible monster that is the peanut butter conspiracy. Because of the power of free speech I am capable of exposing and destroying these corporate monsters.

Corporate peanut butter brands such as Skippy and Jif (see, I am not afraid of naming names) are not just made out of peanuts. They have sugar and hydrogenated oils added to them also. Do you know what hydrogenated oil is? Crisco! You are eating Crisco! Do you know what it says on the side of a can of Crisco? "Hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil." You are eating the oil of cottonseeds which has been processed so it's solid at room temperature.

There are natural peanut butters out there that are made of peanuts and (optionally) salt. Nothing more. But those other brands (Skippy and Jif, and also other brands such as Reeses) have additional ingredients that add nothing nutritionally, and actually make them worse than natural-style peanut butter.

Yes, I actually did some research for this rant. You can duplicate my results by looking at labels next time you're at the supermarket. Skippy has sugar and partially hydrogenated rapeseed, cottonseed, and soybean oil. Jif has sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and fully hydrogenated rapeseed and soybean oil. These added oils apparently add to the fat content, including the saturated fat content (you know all that advice about avoiding saturated fat.) Not that even natural peanut butter is all that low in fat or healthy for you. Sorry.

Skippy16 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat
Jif16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat
Adams natural15 g fat, 3 g saturated fat
Laura Scudder natural16 g fat, 2.5 g saturated
Jif reduced fat (contains corn syrup solids)12 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat
Laura Scudder reduced fat natural (contains maltodextrin)12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat

So there's the statistics. In all cases, the figures are for smooth varieities. Laura Scudder and Adams contain just peanuts and salt (with the exception of the reduced fat version of Laura Scudder.) And I don't know who owns these companies, so I'm not saying they've got indie cred or anything. But clearly, that hydrogenated oil, which they say is added to improve spreadability and prevent separation results in a fattier product. I mean, what's so hard about stirring up your peanut butter a bit?

Numbers aside, how about the taste? Those shortening brands just gross me out. Too sweet, too slick... like eating peanut-flavored Crisco. Yuk!

You know what I really hate? Going to a Thai restaurant and their peanut sauce tastes like it's made out of Jif or Skippy. Nothing like a too-sweet peanut sauce to really ruin a Thai meal.

Jif's got that slogan "Choosy Mothers Choose Jif." Only mothers who know nothing about nutrition would be so stupid. But the slogan also points out that our brand loyalty is implanted early in life. Most of us buy the same brands that our parents bought. It's time to make a break with corporate family values. Just say no to peanut butter with shortening!

Larry-bob
larrybob@gmail.com
2/24/98


Check out this webpage on problems with hydrogenated oils.

A reader has pointed out that the added sugar, as well as the added fat in these peanut butters can be dangerous to diabetics.

Website about of Percy Crosby, the creator of the comic character Skippy, and how the trademark was taken from him.


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