In praise of peanut butter

Long before I moved to Georgia my family was a major underwriter of the state economy. No, not by eating peaches, following college football, watching NASCAR, or connecting through Hartsfield. Part of the family legacy is a love for peanut butter and I cheerfully indoctrinate my own children with the devotion. Ever since I can remember our family has been heartily supporting farmers in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi—the states that produce 70 percent of the peanuts used to produce peanut butter in the U.S.  Lately we’ve been eating natural peanut butter, which we find to be just as good without the unnecessary additives. 

Why eat peanut butter?

  1. It tastes good
  2. Peanut butter is nutritional.  It provides enormous amounts of and much more.
  3. Peanut butter is not meat:  It has enormous amounts of protein, without the nasty environmental and health impacts of meat eating. Yes, every time you eat a PB&J, you reduce your carbon footprint.
  4. Peanut butter has major health benefits
  • One ounce of roasted peanuts provides 10% (41 micrograms) of the daily value of folate, the naturally occurring form of the B vitamin folic acid, recommended for the reduction of birth defects and lowered heart disease risk.
  • The first study to show a link between diet and high blood pressure, published in the April issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, recommends eating nuts and legumes 4 to 5 times per week as part of a low fat diet high in fruits and vegetables.
  • Monounsatured fat(the kind in peanut butter) can cut in half a woman’s risk for breast cancer, according to an article in the January 12, 1998 issue of the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine.
  • Eating low glycemic index foods such as peanut butter, yogurt, beans and broccoli along with a diet high in cereal fiber can significantly reduce the risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes in women,
  • Peanut butter, like most foods, contains some fat. Fortunately, 80% of the fat in peanut butter is unsaturated fat — “the good fat” — which may actually help lower LDL-cholesterol levels in your blood.

Here’s great information on the history of peanut butter.

In addition to PB &J sandwiches, our family tradition includes the use of peanut butter on pancakes and on ice cream, and of course, on banana sandwiches. How do you eat peanut butter? Here are some ideas from another fanatic.  And one adventurous soul who found a way to blend obsessions—peanut butter and coffee! May have to try that.

About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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