A note on why I'm so pro-natural.
Such a great newsletter today, thanks Alicia! Also, as a self-proclaimed walking Costco ad I think you'll enjoy this episode of the Slate Money podcast about the economics of Costco. They discuss the baffling success of Costco's business model, despite it breaking every retail rule and also arguably being the "ugliest place in the world," (their words, not mine haha).
I'm with you on avoiding crappy commodity peanut butter, but I much prefer the creamy texture that goes hand in hand with the ones that have some solid-at-room-temperature fat added to them. As it turns out, it's not all that hard to make a pretty good approximation of them at home in a food processor starting with raw or roasted peanuts. I add butter, but I think you could also do it with vegan butter or coconut oil. I'll send you my recipe once I nail it down.
Love this! Thank you so much for putting to words what I've been tossing around in my head for so long. I too eat what can only be considered to be "too much" peanut butter. I have found that you can make your own and actually don't need to add any additional fat or oil. I roast the peanuts then use a high power blender to mix until smooth. It takes a bit of patience but it does eventually come together. You can make it as smooth as you want and don't have any fat separation to worry about. Thanks for the food for thought!
My favorite peanut butter is ground in the store I buy it from, quite often while I wait. It just contains peanuts. Otherwise I buy jarred peanut butter that just contains peanuts. I understand why big brands think that other ingredients are necessary. However I prefer peanut butter without them especially sugar and other oils.
When I bought my last jar of natural peanut butter, the cashier was really concerned about that fact that the oil had separated. "There must be something wrong" she said and wasn't reassured by my comment that it was expected.
> Smucker’s makes a shit-ton of money off of Jif because we’re all too tired. Fuck them.
I think about this often. Many corporations make money of us because we’re too tired and too busy. Breaking the cycle is hard and maybe for some not even possible. I really enjoyed this piece. When our means allow, I think we must make better choices.
Thanks so much for the reference to my book, Alicia. I’m very much enjoying your writing (and thinking) here. Happy to have discovered this newsletter. As for peanut butter, I agree that it’s hard to beat Smucker’s (I prefer crunchy), but I confess that I did not know about the Jif (and palm oil) connection. Will have to recalculate. Thanks again, Jocelyn
I'm still confused about the stirring thing! I have always eaten natural peanut butter and you definitely have to stir it really well once (I also store upside down before opening-easier to mix) when you first open it but then once it's refrigerated it stays together completely. Are people not stirring it enough to begin with or are they keeping it outside the fridge? I know peanut butters with preservatives don't have to be refrigerated but I thought natural peanut butter had to be refrigerated?