(Second of two parts)
In my local supermarket, residing alongside the Smucker’s and Skippy peanut butters that I wrote about yesterday, is a new product—Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Spread.
The first thing that caught my eye was the word “natural.” More often than not, if a food item is labeled “natural,” there is something goofy (not a technical term) going on. Sure enough, the ingredient list confirmed my suspicions: “Made from roasted peanuts, sugar, contains 2% or less of palm oil, salt, molasses.”
Yes, sugar, palm oil, salt and molasses are natural, and The J.M. Smucker Company (Jif’s corporate parent) is within its right to market this product as “natural.” But when did sugar, palm oil, salt and molasses become natural ingredients of peanut butter? I touched upon this last week; don’t give food items marked “natural” a free pass. Read the ingredient list and find out for yourself what the product contains.
A second issue that piqued my interest was the phrase “peanut butter spread.” I had never seen this term before and I was curious as to its meaning.
I called Jif Consumer Relations (1-800-283-8915) to find out more. According to Jif, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates that a product must be 95% peanuts to be labeled peanut butter. Anything less and the item must be called peanut butter spread.
As its jar states, Jif Natural Cream Peanut Butter Spread contains 90% peanuts.