With all the bad news lately about salmonella-tainted peanut butter in processed food products, isn’t it high time we had a peanut butter story we could feel good about?
MaraNatha Nut Butters offers a wide variety of natural and organic nut butters which are super-yummy. And they are not involved in the current PCA recall.
Every day, the news is just getting worse and worse. More and more products, including natural and organic ones, are being recalled in the US and Canada. Our faith in our entire food supply system is being tested.
But there is some good news. Not all food manufacturers use peanut products from the Peanut Corporation of America. And while we certainly should not become complacent, there is also no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater… or, in this case, with the peanut butter.
MaraNatha’s range of products includes almond, cashew, and macadamia nut butters as well as peanut. Their peanut butter comes in organic, natural, crunchy, smooth, no salt, with salt, roasted, added calcium, and no-stir varieties with all permutations you can think of.
By adding a tiny amount of natural, expeller-pressed palm oil (which is solid at room temperature) to their “no-stir” nut butters, the peanut oil does not separate out. Why palm oil?
Palm oil is not hydrogenated, contains zero trans fats and is lower in saturated fat than butter. It’s a vegetable oil and is cholesterol free. The palm oil we use is extracted from the palm fruit, using mechanical (not chemical) means.
While purists will likely opt for the 100% peanut options, my current favourite is their Creamy and Sweet No-Stir Peanut Butter (sold here in Canada as “Smooth and Sweet”). The slight touches of sea salt and evaporated cane juice as a sweetener make this a truly luxurious (and kid-friendly) treat — we often just eat it straight out of the jar! It has the taste and texture of big name brand peanut butters, but none of the junk! It is also available in organic… just not at my local supermarket. But if your supermarket is equally poorly-stocked, you can order directly from the company.
Despite processed peanut product fears, nuts and seeds should remain a healthy part of our diet, as they are rich in good fats, which our bodies need.
[This post was written by Heather Dunham]
Amy Bell says
My family loves MaraNatha! Earth Balance makes a great no stir peanut butter as well, it’s sweetened with agave and has flax oil in it.
Heather Dunham says
Ooh, yummy! I don’t think I can get that brand around here (but I’ll certainly look for it).
Holly D says
Unfortunately, this peanut butter contains PALM OIL – even if it is, as you stated, “a tiny amount is added” – palm oil is not really very good for you. It’s one of the few vegetable oils to contain high levels of saturated fat and saturated fat is bad for your heart.
If that weren’t bad enough, the rising demand for palm oil has brought about the clearing of huge tracts of Southeast Asian rainforest, widespread deforestation, violation of human rights of indigenous people, as well as, bringing to the brink of extinction many animal and plant species. The space for these expanding palm plantations is created by clearing trees, draining and burning peatland which releases huge amounts of stored carbon into the atmosphere.
Destroying such forests results in massive amounts of greenhouse gases which, scientists believe, are directly responsible for the global warming crisis facing the planet today. These huge emissions have made Indonesia the world’s third-leading producer of carbon emissions, ranked only after the United States and China.
In order to cultivate palm oil, old growth forests are being clear-cut on a truly horrific scale and converted into industrial-sized plantations. Millions of acres of pristine rainforest in Indonesia and Malaysia have already been completely annihilated, along with every living creature in them.
One of the biggest victims of the palm oil industry is the critically endangered orangutan. The forests of Borneo and Sumatra are the only place where these gentle, intelligent creatures live, and the cultivation of palm oil has directly led to the brutal deaths of thousands of individuals as the industry has expanded in recent years. When the forest is cleared these peaceful, defenseless beings are often beaten, burned, mutilated, tortured and eaten. Babies are torn off their dying mothers so they can be sold on the black market as illegal pets as well as leaving hundreds of orphans to be cared for by non-profit rescue organizations. Imagine, this closest evolutionary cousin of ours may have less than ten years left in the wild before they become totally extinct!
No tiny amount of palm oil is worth all that!
Read more about the palm oil crisis at http://redapes.org/learn-about-the-palm-oil-threat/
I really do prefer to eat peanut butter with no oils-just peanuts.
The only peanut butter we eat! I discovered it over a year ago and have even converted several friends. Thanks for this post. I will pass it on!
Hi Holly and thanks for your input. That information about palm trees and deforestation is certainly concerning and I’ll look into it further, it reminds me of the similar problem with bamboo… we just can’t win, can we?
However, in terms of saturated fats, the link between them and heart disease has been greatly misattributed and blown out of proportion. The original studies on which this notion was based are known to be flawed, but the “results” from them are still touted as gospel.
Transfats — which are generally man-made and do not really occur much in nature — ARE very bad for us. But naturally-occurring fats, including saturated fats, are quite necessary for our health and physiological functioning.
Also read “Nourishing Traditions”.
Lisa Ann says
Actually, Palm oil is an anti-fungal and when used in creamy (not chunky) peanut butter, it prevents the mold from growing. Palm oil is actually a very good oil for you, outside of coconut oil, which also is an anti-fungal.
Are you kidding?Do you think they put organic palm oil in our food? 32oz organic palm oil cost minimum 20$