March 9, 2008

reading labels


I found out the most curious thing the other day. It's kind of a long story, but the short of it is I was looking at 2 kinds of peanut butter at Whole Foods. In the past I've bought the larger, store brand jar because it is a good value. Recenty I picked up a smaller jar of their organic store brand because I figured since I buy so many other things organic, our peanut butter should be too. I also am hoping to reduce the use of our peanut butter and thought a smaller jar might be a good thing.

So, here's the curious part.

Their regular (non-organic) peanut butter has only peanuts and salt as the ingredients. The organic version contains organic peanuts, organic palm oil, organic pure cane sugar, and sea salt. A whole bunch of organic junk!!

Seems in this case the non-organic is the healthier choice (not that it is healthy, but geez!) I guess it is like the low-fat craze where people would eat low fat cookies with even more sugar or chemicals thinking it was a fine substitute. Gotta watch those labels, eh?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's unhealthy about peanut butter? Protein, healthy fats - slap it on some 100% whole grain bread and a little homemade jam. Good stuff!

Cheryl said...

I am very surprised that the regular brand of peanut butter did not contain hydogenated oils...most do! Hydorgenated oils is the the main reason I insist on organic. My family enjoys MaraNatha organic crunchy and roasted peanut butter (organic dry roasted peanuts, sea salt). It costs about $8.69 for a large 26 ounce jar, but the flavor is worth it. My family (who has not totally bought into my organic craze) gripes if I run out. Kids eat a lot of peanut butter...it is important to eliminate hydrogenated oils (and pesticide sprays) from their diets.

Rebecca said...

I am interested in learning why you are trying to reduce the amount of peanut butter your family eats. Any particular reason?

Cheryl, I think the reason the regular brand of peanut butter didn't have hydrogenated oils was because it was still "natural" peanut butter--just not organic.

I eat the natural peanut butter from Trader Joe's. I will admit that I don't always get the organic version, but I'm pretty sure that both organic and natural-but-not-organic versions contain just peanuts. I agree that it's terrible to sell organic natural peanut butter with added sugar and oil!

mom go green said...

thanks for the great comments. i also think the trader joe's products are good options. i did notice theirs is slightly higher in salt.

as far as why i was trying to cut back: i just wanted to try and offer things that might have even more nutrition. we try to use almond butter some, too. i know there are other nut butters that offer good nutrition.

mostly, my husband and i just love peanut butter and we eat it more often than the kids i think! so cutting back is more a reflection of us trying to eat a little lighter. but it is oh-so-good!

Rebecca said...

TJ's unsalted has 5 mg. of sodium--I'm not sure how that compares to other brands, but it has no added salt. I tend to think of peanut butter as a health food: it has good fats, protein (7 g), calcium, and iron--all in just two tablespoons. Other nut butters are good, too, but often more expensive.

Anonymous said...

I buy peanut butter from a health shop. I take my own glass jar and watch them grind the raw unsalted peanuts. There is nothing else in it. The peanuts have their own oil that keeps it preserved. It is much cheaper and tastes better.

Mindful Momma said...

I too almost bought the organic, sugar-laden variety of PB at Whole Foods. Luckily I noticed before it went in the cart. So far my kids don't even know that 'sugared' PB exists and I'd like to keep it that way!

Lisa said...

I recently was talking about peanut butter with my Naturopath who actually advised me to steer clear of the "all natural" kind you get at the health food store as it is known to contain the carcinogen, aflatoxin (sp. aflotoxin). Something to look into...this is not a problem with other nut butters however...

Anonymous said...

Another great option is to make the peaunut butter yourself. A peaunut butter machine can be expensive but then you can buy some peanuts in bulk and you're set.