There are many stories about peanut butter, some you know to be accurate, others you have doubts about, and others you don’t believe. We know for sure that PB has peanuts in it, so it is terrible for those with allergies.
One of the stories we don’t want to think about is peanut butter having insects as an ingredient. Many American homes have peanut butter, so this topic concerns many people. Let us look into this myth to see if there is any truth to it;
Are There Bugs In Peanut Butter?
There are bugs in your peanut butter, not entire insects, only parts of them. Peanut butter also has rodent hairs in higher quantities than insect parts.
The FDA is clear about this information, and in 100 grams of peanut butter, there are about 30 insect pieces and more than 100 grams of rodent hairs. These come from harvesting and processing procedures since bugs and rodents live in the farms and storage units.
Peanut Butter Manufacturing Process
An American doctor invented peanut butter in 1890, and he used it as a protein substitute for patients whose teeth were too bad to chew meat. Let us look at how modern-day peanut butter goes from peanuts to the deliciousness we enjoy;
Runner peanuts are the best peanuts for making peanut butter. This is because they are relatively uniform in size, so they roast more evenly than peanuts at the same size. This makes sure the peanut tastes the same without some undercooked or overcooked parts.
The runner peanuts start processing after workers have removed their outer shell since it is hard to process.
You need 560 grams of peanuts to make a 500-gram jar of peanut butter. The nuts travel through a 2400C air roaster with a shaking motion.
This motion ensures the peanuts move around the whole time and roast evenly. The peanuts go into the roaster white and come out light brown; then, they go into a new chamber to cool at room temperature.
This chamber has suction fans that circulate air quickly; thus, the peanuts will cool down rapidly. This is important since it prevents the peanuts from losing excess oil cooling.
The peanuts roll into a blancher machine, which rubs them between rubber belts to remove the outer skin.
The blancher will then split the kernels to take out the heart of the peanut, which has a bitter taste and would ruin the peanut butter.
The products that the blancher removes don’t go to waste, the skins will go to farmers who feed them to their pigs, and the hearts are a good option for bird feed.
The peanuts end up in a vast stainless steel vat from which they will pour into a grinder that will grind them into a paste.
The machine will also add other ingredients during the grinding, mixing them with the peanut butter.
Additional ingredients in peanut butter include; hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, and sugar. The vegetable oil works as a stabilizer to prevent the peanut oil from getting out from the mixture and floating on peanut butter.
Peanut butter does not have artificial coloring, sweetness, or preservatives, yet it doesn’t need refrigeration.
This means the peanut butter is ready at this point, but it is at 600C; it moves into a cooler where its temperature will drop to 300C before it goes into jars.
PB is healthy with many vitamins, proteins, minerals, and nutrition. It has fat but not cholesterol which makes it safer for your heart.
The best part is that more than 80% of the fat is unsaturated; it is the good fat that can lower cholesterol levels in your blood.
When full of peanut butter, the jars go through a machine that puts caps with aluminum seals onto the peanut butter. The caps go through a heater which causes the seal to drop and makes a seal on the jar.
How To Make Peanut Butter At home
You can make all-natural peanut butter at home in a few minutes. Making your peanut butter will give you control over what goes in the product so you can be more comfortable using it. You get all the benefits without putting your health at risk.
Store-bought peanut butter sometimes has refined sugar, unhealthy fats, refined oil, and some brands have preservatives. When you make it at home, it is only peanuts and a pinch of salt without added oils or sugar.
Homemade peanut can be a good meal option for someone trying to lose weight since it has a high protein content that suppresses hunger. It also has healthy oils that are a good source of energy that doesn’t harm you, so let’s get into it;
- Begin by roasting the peanuts; roasting is essential for the taste and to take off the skins. Put the roasted peanuts in a kitchen towel and rub them roughly with your fingers. The skins will come off, and you can sieve them out of the peanuts.
- Use a grinder or high-powered food processor; if you have one, add a teaspoon of salt. Cover it with the lid, pulse the appliance a few times, and grind it until the peanuts turn to a fine powder.
- After about 30 seconds, the powder will start to look like a liquid as the oil mixes out. Stop the food processor and mix the peanut butter with a spoon to get the oil back in. Cover it and run the processor for another 30 seconds, and the peanut butter will be ready.
You will have made peanut butter that tastes as good as industrial peanut butter in about two minutes, yet it is healthier and much cheaper. Transfer the peanut butter into an air-tight glass container and cover it with a tight lid.
Two Types OF Peanut Butter To Avoid
Today you might not like what you read since it goes against your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There are types of peanut butter that are bad for you on an arterial side of things and your body fat.
Eating the wrong peanut butter can hinder your progress if you are trying to lose weight, so you need to know which ones to avoid.
We can break peanut butter down into three classifications to see how they affect you, so let’s get to it;
1. The basic peanut butter
These are the leading company peanut butter options like Peter Pan, Skippy, Jif, and others. These have hydrogenated soybean oils.
Soy is highly phytoestrogenic; therefore, it will reduce your testosterone levels and increase estrogen levels.
This will make it hard for you to burn fat, so it might not be the best choice when working out. Peanut butter also has Trans fats which the body cannot metabolize efficiently. This fat takes about 51 days to break down, so it is easy to get a buildup in your body.
2. The “Natural” peanut butter
These giant peanut butter companies market their products as natural, but they have some products you need to look into.
These don’t have the bad hydrogenated oil, so they are better than regular peanut butter, but they still have added sugar and palm oil.
Palm oil on its own is not bad, but it becomes a carcinogen after refinement, which is not a reasonable risk to take.
When you combine the palm oil with the peanuts, you get a Glycidyl fatty acid ester, a genotoxin that can harm your DNA code.
Your DNA dictates how much muscle you build or fat you can burn. So when you have a toxin in your DNA, it can mess things up for you.
3. The real peanut butter
This is peanut butter that is just peanuts and salt, and this is the best choice for everyone. Look at the label and confirm that they only have peanuts and salt in them, and you should avoid any brand that has more than these two ingredients in it.
This will offer the plant proteins and the oils without exposing you to carcinogens or dangerous fats that will mess up your body fat ratio.
Spend the extra dollar or two to get organic peanut butter that will be good for you or make yours at home.
Peanuts have many bugs and rodents on the farms, so some end up in the peanut butter after processing. They are not harmful to humans since they are in such small quantities.
If this has ruined peanut butter for you, you can always make your pure peanut butter at home. You can do this by grinding some peanuts in a food processor or grinder. This is the best type of peanut butter since it is entirely natural.