Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Spread: A Closer Look

(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 som
ething 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 th
is 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.


Anonymous said...

The NATURAL comes from the natural Palm Oil, which unlike in regular peanut butters (and peanut butter spreads) is not hydrogenated. The oils in the non natural varieties are hydrogenated and therefore are a non natural ingeredient.

Unknown said...

My question is what type of sugar? It's not sugar cane or it would say. Much of the table Sugar today is made from GMO beets.

These companies still hide too much.

ShaneX said...

Well first the Palm Oil is listed in the main ingredients, the 2% or less is for the molasses and salt. And you're right, those ingredients AREN'T natural ingredients of peanut butter. Because guess what? Legally to be a "Peanut Butter" product in the U.S. you need to use hydrogenated vegetable oil(s) as your stabilizing product! You're bitching about the ingredient in the natural version, saying they don't belong in YOUR Peanut Bugger, but YOUR Peanut Butter requires the use of the trans fat laden oils!

And to the commenter above, beets are healthy for you, really at some point you guys need to quit your bitchin'! There's REAL problems out there, and you're here complaining about healthier food products!!