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Why I Will Never Buy Peanut Butter Again

Why I Will Never Buy Peanut Butter Again

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.

10 Foods You Should Make From Scratch


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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
1:00AM PST on Nov 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing

12:19PM PST on Nov 3, 2014

Same as Margie Mmmmmm!

12:55PM PDT on Oct 25, 2014


7:45AM PDT on Oct 25, 2014

Thanks for the article. Nut butters are so easy to make if you have a food processor. Plus, you control the ingredients! Buy organic peanuts as conventional peanuts are loaded with pesticides.

7:43AM PDT on Oct 24, 2014

i think buying locally or from a smaller company would also suffice in lieu of making one's own peanut butter. but to each their own! i'll stick to the rat hair, i guess :p

10:53AM PDT on Oct 23, 2014

Donald R, a little vinegar will take the peanut butter out - it cuts the oil. We don't usually make our own at home, but we do get pb on the mixer beaters when making peanut butter frosting (for chocolate cake, of course.)

10:48AM PDT on Oct 23, 2014


I grow some of my own vegetables, and OMG! BIRDS POOP on the PLANTS!

So I wash them off.

Can't do much about the occasional bite taken out of them by bugs or slugs, but the diatomaeous earth keeps those down. I use it sparingly because it kills the beneficials, too, so that only goes on the cruciforms. The toads do their part, but I think they probably excrete in the garden, too. And let's not talk about the idiot mama bunny who never seems to realize that if she stayed out of the back yard she wouldn't be chased by our dogs.

Food grows in dirt. It can't be helped. We have a grind-it-yourself setup at our local health food store, but unless I'm mistaken even commercial (organic) peanut butter IS sterilized before it's put in the jars, or it would be spoiled before I opened it.

There's too much fear in the world. This isn't helping.

11:01AM PDT on Oct 22, 2014

A certain amount of rodent hairs and other things we really don't like to think about are permissible; as foods stored in warehouses, on ships, docks, etc have access to rats... lots of them.

10:01AM PDT on Oct 22, 2014

You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die, as my grandmother used to say. By all means make your own but do you really think your kitchen would pass the hygiene standards of commercial premises!

4:37PM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

I make my own nut butters...It only takes a few assorted nuts and a grinder...

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