How Peanut Butter helps the planet

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One of the daily decisions we all face is what to eat. How do we eat well and in a way that’s good for the environment — and at the same time have meals that are easy to fix and taste good?

One food that fits all this is the simple Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. According to the PB&J Campaign website:

  • Eating a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich instead of a grilled cheese or chicken sandwich saves 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s almost half of what you’d save if you switched to a Hybrid car.
  • The same sandwich will save 280 gallons of water since growing peanuts takes less water than livestock.
  • Growing peanuts also takes less land than animals — so your sandwich could help preserve 12-50 square feet of land from being used for cultivation.

I bet you didn’t realize that eating three Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches could have the same environmental impact as switching your showers to a low-flow shower head.

This is the type of information we want to share. How can we change our daily habits to have less environmental impact in ways that fit our busy lives? This one is simple. Eat more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Plus, they taste good and cost less.

In addition to being better for the environment, they’re also very healthy as long as you don’t eat too much. According to WebMD, peanut butter is high in fat, but those fats are relatively healthy ones. Everyone needs some fat in their diets — just not too much — and over 80% of the fats in peanut butter are the healthy kind.

According to the WebMD article, “It is hard to believe that something so wonderful could also be good for you.” Peanut butter “is chock full of good nutrition without those unhealthy trans fatty acids. The only limitation to enjoying peanut butter is the two-tablespoon portion size”

But what about all the fat and the less-healthy oils that sometimes get processed into commercial peanut butter? Does that make it bad? According to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, that isn’t always the case. “Fresh ground is not necessarily better,” Bonci says. “The fat and calorie content are pretty much the same whether you grind your own or buy commercial peanut butter.”

Again, according to Bonci, the serving size is 2 tablespoons.

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15 thoughts on “How Peanut Butter helps the planet

  1. We would consume a jar of PB a week if we could. But with the prevalent peanut allergy amongst children, a lot of schools are “peanut free” schools, including my kids’. So we have to find alternatives such as sunflower seed batter, soy butter, all a bit off in my opinion. Hopefully they save the world as well :)

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  3. And here I just thought they tasted good!
    I do recommend you find the kind that isn’t made with hydrogenated oil (read shortening!) because it’s better for you.
    Aflatoxin, be damned!

  4. What about peanut butter and chocolate? That, IMHO, is one of the best flavor combinations EVER! And since dark chocolate is now proven to be good for you also…That would be a beautiful justification for a guilty indulgence.

  5. “That’s almost half of what you’d save if you switched to a Hybrid car.”

    What? Over what period of time? How many miles? This is a ridiculous statement, but it’s the 1/3rd of the meat in this rather meager post.

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  9. Aflatoxin is always in the back of my mind as gorge myself on PBJs. No really, it is. But it’s a measured risk.

    PB, Allergies & School Children: sadly the primary culprits causing the PB bans are exactly the parents who themselves have induced their children’s allergies through excessive hygiene paranoia. They are also the fools that think zero tolerance and zero risk policies for anything are both possible and good goals in general. They are neither. They achieve precisely the opposite with a mathematically provable certainty.

    PB & Chocolate: the most convenient (and common) PB+C is by spreading the other slice with Nutella, which, unfortunately, is absolutely loaded with *added* trans fat. Just because it’s European and/or traditional doesn’t mean it good for you.

    Non-trans-fat PB: JIF now has a no-trans-fat Low Fat PB which maintains a similar (but not identical) consistency to the standard JIF by boosting unsaturated fat and saturated fat. The best non-trans PBs are non-name-Branded PBs. Avoid JIF, Skippy, etc. – sadly ALL name brands of ALL foods tend to be full of the worst ingredients like trans-fat, fructose, aspartame, sat-fat, etc. The off-brands and store-brands tend to be the best. What does that tell you about American corporations? Otherwise buy organic/unprocessed PB though they separate into oil and butter (the trans-fat is used to emulsify and blend the oil).

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