The Frontal Cortex

Peanut Butter

Did you know that every time you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch instead of a meat based sandwich you reduce your carbon footprint by more than two pounds? (I love it when environmentalism affirms my own habits.) That’s about 40 percent of the savings that are achieved from driving a hybrid car. I’d also like to take this moment to endorse the Trader Joe’s salted peanut butter made from unblanched peanuts. It’s delicious.


  1. #1 Rachael
    September 12, 2008

    It’s funny how taste changes. When I first made the switch to natural peanut butter, I didn’t like it (not creamy enough!). But now, when I’ve tasted commercial peanut butter, all I can think is “Ugh! Plastic!” – no flavor to be had!

    PB&J is far underrated for good food : )

  2. #2 Grackle
    September 12, 2008

    Peanut butter packaged with anything in it other than peanuts (and salt) should be labelled ‘peanut-butter-flavored industrial waste’.

    Jelly is overrated. Try honey. And even black-strap molasses — very healthy!

  3. #3 Lucas
    September 12, 2008

    I’m allergic to peanuts, and never really cared for PB&J anyway. I don’t know the precise numbers, but I think there is probably a substantial reduction in carbon footprint to be had from substituting beans for meat. This doesn’t require anything fancy–yesterday I made Zatarain’s Scampi pasta, but substituted two cans of black beans for shrimp. It was delicious, incredibly easy to prepare (easier than meat), and healthy as well. Beans are low fat, high in fiber and protein, and loaded with antioxidants (black beans at least). It was also very cheap–the whole dish costs $3.30 for about 4-5 servings. Canellini beans also go very well with some pasta dishes. Dahl lentils make very rich, creamy lowfat soup, etc.

    I think it’s sort of interesting how beans, peas and lentils have fallen out of the American diet–they used to be a staple food. They’re actually quite good when paired with the right things, and they’re sooo much cheaper than meat.

  4. #4 Fertanish
    September 12, 2008

    I’m not sure I can continue to read the blog of a person who mentions the TJs salted peanut butter but completely ignores the Cashew Butter.

    That said, I’ve heard the argument (although I can’t find the source at the moment) that if we stopped eating meat and drinking alcohol, there would be an abundance of food to essentially end famine worldwide. I don’t know if that statement is really considering the economical, logistical and political causes of famine in underdeveloped countries (or, for that matter, if it is simply bunk), but it is humbling to think there are very basic things that can be done to improve the quality of life that not only do we not do, but we hardly even consider.

    Of course, fat chance getting us to stop drinking alcohol…

  5. #5 stylized.fact
    September 12, 2008

    This may be true, but extensive research indicates that public health concerns (reducing diabetes, heart disease and cancer risk) might make the meat sandwich more attractive. In fact, you’d probably be much better of throwing out the bread and just eating the meat.

  6. #6 alphabitch
    September 12, 2008

    Peanut butter with Major Grey’s chutney. Or any kind of chutney you happen to have.

  7. #7 scicurious
    September 12, 2008

    I’m a big fan of the Whole Food peanut butter that you can grind yourself. Nothin’ but nuts! Awesome to know that my way of trying to eat on the cheap helps the world as well!

  8. #8 Anon
    September 12, 2008

    I must apologize to the world. This summer, I and others happened to just casually mention the federal standards for bug parts, rat hairs, etc., in peanut butter. We thought nothing of it.

    A fellow traveller, a huge fan of peanut butter sandwiches, someone who ate them nearly every day… has not been able to eat one since then.


  9. #9 Moopheus
    September 12, 2008

    “This may be true, but extensive research indicates that public health concerns (reducing diabetes, heart disease and cancer risk) might make the meat sandwich more attractive. In fact, you’d probably be much better of throwing out the bread and just eating the meat.”

    That must be why there was astonishingly high rates of heart disease and obesity in Japan, where white rice is traditionally eaten with pratically every meal, until after WWII, when their diet became more westernized. Now they are as healthy as we are.

  10. #10 Apashiol
    September 13, 2008

    As someone who is vegetarian since the age of 12 and with a diet based mainly on grains plus beans and nuts with a little dairy I don’t put much stock in research that demonises grains. while mostly it’s wholegrains I regularly eat good white bread. My cholesterol has always been good and ditto for blood sugar. It’s the meat-eaters in my family who have onset diabetes and thyroid problems.

  11. #11 OftenWrongTed
    September 14, 2008

    Are raw organic peanuts or other raw nuts, and their related organic products, subject to fumigation or pasteurization , prior to sale and use within the USA?

  12. #12 Eleanor
    September 15, 2008

    Agreed! There is no peanut butter better than TJ’s creamy salted.

New comments have been disabled.