I love peanut butter.
Over the years, I have bought countless jars of it—whether smooth or chunky, it’s totally yummy. Besides, it is packed with powerful health benefits: protein, vitamins, antioxidants, good fats and much more.
But now that I know what I know, I am never going to buy peanut butter again. I am going to make my own.
Here is the first reason: store-bought peanut butter is likely to contain some small amount of rat hair. I’m not sure whether this is more comforting or disgusting, but the United States Food and Drug Administration regulates this, saying that peanut butter can have no more than an average of one rodent hair per 100 grams.
To be fair to peanut butter, a tiny amount of rodent hair is unlikely to cause health issues. And peanut butter is certainly not the only food that contains “allowed” contaminants. Pizza sauce has fly eggs, and insect parts get the green signal in potato chips. But more worryingly, dyes, rancid oils, harmful chemicals and hormones lurk in many of these everyday foods. And in many brands of peanut butter, partially hydrogenated oils — another term for deadly trans fats — are added. Is it worth it?
Which brings me to the second reason I won’t go shopping for peanut butter again: it is almost ridiculously easy to make at home. Bonus: it is less expensive and tastes much better than any commercial brand.
Here is my recipe:
1 big handful of roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon peanut oil
Honey to taste
Kosher salt to taste
Put everything in the food processor, and blend coarsely or well.
Five quick minutes, and you get fresh, rat-hair-free peanut butter. A delicious thought, indeed.