Health Nut!

Is peanut butter healthy or not? Doubtless you have heard the argument both ways:

Pro:

Peanut butter is a wonderful source of protein, health LDL monounsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals! It can help reduce sever diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, as well as make you live longer! It is a perfect substitute for other protein foods and will keep you full and energized all day, not to mention tastefully satisfied!

Con:

Peanut butter contains fat and can cause excess weight gain and fat storage. It can have serious side effects for those with peanut allergies. Peanut butter is prone to salmonella and is a serious risk to consumers.

Truth:

Peanut butter is a healthy food, if consumed healthily! Although it does have a risk on salmonella contamination, it can easily be avoided by smart purchasing and food inspection. Peanut butter has been proven to improve health and quality of life especially in regards to illnesses such as cancer. Because the paste is packed full of vitamins and minerals this food is a great way to ensure a more complete nutritional diet. Speaking of diet, peanut butter has not been confirmed as a catalyst to weight gain, on the contrary it has been found to be an appetite suppressant and is often used in weight loss and management diets!

Form more information concerning the good, healthy, great, and even a little of the bad and ugly aspects of peanut butter health, check out my Peanut Butter Health Page!

How popular is peanut butter?

Is my obsession with peanut butter shared? Do other people eat as much peanut butter as I do? Take the poll!

10 Things You Can Do To Live a Happy Peanut Butter Life

If your not satisfied with the way that the peanut butter industry has been treating your peanut butter, take matters into your own hands!

Here are ten tips that I have devised throughout my research that can improve your relationship with peanut butter and the environment at the same time!

1) Do it yourself! Grinding your own peanut butter will reduce your carbon footprint, your environmental impacts, as well as your budget. It also ensures the quality of you food right down to the last bite! Learn How on my Recipes Page!

2) Go to your local health food store and grind you peanut butter there. This is a simple alternative to purchasing a food processors and still allows you to control what goes into your butter!

3) Choose SUPER local. If you can’t make it your self, you neighbor is the next best person. Buy your peanut butter from famers markets and have a conversation with the suppliers about where the nuts come from!

4) Research the retail brands available to you and find the closest supplier. This will make it easier to ensure the quality of you peanut butter. If you are feeling motivated, go and visit the head quarters to get an idea of what your peanut production looks like.

5) If you are from an area that does not have local nut farmers or producers, take the time to do background research on the larger manufactures and compare their companies. Look at quality, integrity and initiatives!

6) Eat your peanut butter like you eat your veggies! The fresher you peanut butter looks, the fresher it is. Avoid fake ageless looking brands of peanut butter, most likely they are more heavily manufactured and father from the actual product than you realize!

7) Less is more! Look at the ingredient of your peanut butters. Fortunately it is very easy to understand. The best brands have only one ingredient; peanuts! Other may have small amounts of salt add. Some may have added hydrogenated oil, and still more add sugar. The more ingredients the less healthy!

8) Treat your peanut butter like a nutrias food! Often the health benefits of peanut butter are lost to the ways in which it is consumed. Peanut butter and chocolate is a wonderful combination, though it does not retain nearly the same nutrition values as good ol’ carrots and PB. So treat peanut butter with health respect!

9) Peanut butter can be the key to a low carbon diet! by replacing your typical meat based lunch with a PB&J or a peanut butter based lunch you can cut your footprint tremendously while retaining all the protein you need for an active life style!

10) Enjoy it to the max! Don’t feel rested by the traditional recipes or the classical PB&J, peanut butter has become a hot commodity and can be found ing restaurants and cousins all across the world.. so try something new with you old habits!

From a Sustainability Standpoint

Peanut butter may be associated with huge corporations selling tan paste to families eating countless PB&Js, or it may make you think of the new “crunchy hippie” fad of people spreading the paste on all their vegan and vegetarian dishes in search of some protein. Either way peanut butter has earned quite a name for itself in regards to the envionrment.

Through my research I discovered that peanut butter is a very environmentally friendly food, and in comparison to other similar products it has a small impact on the planet, and a modest carbon footprint.

This may be in part credited to the simplicity of the product (nuts) or may be a result of more compacted historical and social reasons concerning its nutritional values and vital role in basic diets.

More recently peanut butter has become a mascot for promoting more ecologically friendly and low impact diets. Because of its high protein content it perfect replacement for high emission, meat based diets.

No matter the reasoning it in undeniable that the majority of this industry far outshines modern agriculture in Mother Nature’s eye.

Look at my Sustainable Peanut Butter Page for more information regarding this product’s impact on the planet!

Company Review.

VERSUS

The Company Profiles

The peanut butter industry has diversified a great deal since the days of John Kellog and George Washingotn Carver. Because of this it can often be hard to tell what is behind the making of your butter! Which companies are best? Which are more sustainable, worker friendly, local, healthy, high quality? It is difficult to tell when there are thousands to choose from.

I decided to undertaking of investigating such a diverse industry of peanut butter producers by choosing to focus on two brands.

My favorite brand, Adams Crunchy, and Once Again natural creamy peanut butter, which is the brand available in my local school cafeteria.

Although Adams is my choice brand, it is not available in Providence, and I have settled to eat  Once Again’s without many complaints.

These two companies do not represent the peanut butter industry as a whole however they do provide interesting insight into the varying methods of manufacturing.

Before starting my research I assumed that Adam’s, my choice brand, would be superior in terms of quality, cultivation, production, and impact on the environment, then the brand served to me in 9lb buckets.

My findings were not only surprising, but also very revealing of peanut butter manufacturing from plant to jar.

Visit my Company Profiles Page to get the full scoop!

Why Peanut Butter? Why Me?

My fondness, near obsession, of peanut butter must have been a hereditary characteristic passed from my mother to me. I cannot remember an exact age or date which I fell in love with it but rather associate it as a staple food in my diet.

I was fed peanut butter as a child, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches throughout middle school, snacked on Adam’s Crunchy religiously during high school, and survive on it while at Brown University.

While growing up in rural Montana my family ate peanut butter because it was the perfect simplistic food. Anything that had a long shelf life without refrigeration, required no preparation, and had as much protein as meat earned a winning spot in the pantry.

So I was raised to think of peanut butter as the perfect food, however I wanted to know for sure that the food I swore by was as glorious as I thought. I want to investigate all aspects of the products, from nut to jar, to ensure that peanut butter stood up to my own personal food standards.

I admit that  I was nervous my perfect food would reveal dirty secrets of unjustified environmental impacts, globalized industries full of corporation corruption, and big business monopolization. And I even expected that I would have to sever my love of peanut butter in order to standby my food ethics.

However after extensive research, interviewing, data hunting, hypothesizing and testing as many theories as I could peanut butter still holds a very high standard within my personal food ranking.

So explore away!