Friday, December 07, 2007

100% Organic and Preservative Free!

In my never-ending quest for perfection I recently bought a jar of organic peanut butter. I love peanut butter. I eat it every day for breakfast, and up until recently, my PB of choice was chunky Jif. Yeah. Sounds like a blues band, doesn't it? Chunky Jif and the Jive Five. Yeah. But I'm worried that chunky Jif has too much sugar and preservatives in it, so I decided to give organic a try. It took me about ten minutes to find an appropriate substitute: a honey-flavoured chunky PB from Arrowhead Mills. (the organic community eschews the time-honored tradition of colour-coding their PB, blue for chunky, red for smooth, so I had to pick up each jar and look at it. My jar, like Maria at the end of West Side Story, has a lovely yellow cap) It cost me $4. Today I had the last of my chunky Jiff on one slice of toast, and the chunky Arrowhead Mills on the other. The first thing I noticed about the organic stuff is that it separates. So you have oil, then roughly-chopped pieces of peanuts, then the creamy butter, and you have to mix it together. Okay, fine. The taste...well, it's not as sweet, that's for sure, it's more peanutty than any PB I've ever had (except for this generic stuff in London...never again...) And it's sticky. Each bit prompted a sip of tea to get my jaws unstuck. I mean--this is the kind of sticky that Shel Silverstein was writing about when he was warning about the horrors of PB. Better than Jif? Eh. Probably. I compared the labels, and this is what I found: Arrowhead Mills ingredients: peanuts, salt, honey, soy lecthin. Jif: Peanuts, molasses, salt, mono-and diglycerides. That would be the preservatives, I'm assuming. And maybe preservatives aren't a bad thing: I realised, as I went to put my preservative-free organic peanut butter in the fridge that it expired Nov 22. 2007. Ooops. Who checks the expiration date, anyway? I want my food to last for years, so in, the case of a 28 Weeks Later like scenario, I will have a good supply of PB while I try to work out an acceptable substitute. I'm still going to give the organic stuff a shot, but I think I might take this back to the store and point out they had expired product on their shelves.

The simplicity of the reciepe has given me pause though. Maybe I should try making my own damn peanut butter. I have the honey, after all. And a bag of peanuts from Fleet Farm is, what, a buck? Hmmm...


Speaking of things organic, I was surfing around yesterday (and by "surfing around" I mean "screwing around") and I found a very nice cotton t-shirt with a black and white sketch of George Washington on the front--very classy, very understated. Clearly what the General would have wanted, had he had access to a screen printing press at Mount Vernon. I thought about adding it to my collection, but then I thought about wearing something like that. I mean, Washington was, after all, a slave owner. And there is a point where irony and tongue-in-cheek humor crosses the line, so I think I'll be content with my GW action figure.

Although...now I'm wishing I had bought that Nelson T-shirt...if only because it was a portrait of him in pink...

2 comments:

Laura said...

$4 is probably a discount price for organic peanut butter in Chicago. I remember that arrowhead mills stuff being super expensive in Moorhead. I used to eat it on these english muffins named after a verse in Ezekeial because it was something like put grain millet and water in a pot and make bread out of it - so that's what this company did and all their bread products have just these four ingreidents mentioned in the bible. Anway, english muffin, peaunut butter, a little textured vegetable protien which looks and tastes like sand but is a good source of protien, and drizzle with honey and you got yourself a breakfast!

Samantha said...

You people and your health food! (she grumbles as she digs into her lunch of organic salad greens and homegrown mango...)