After years of eating out every meal I have finally reached the point where I am starting to make my own lunches. First on my list was the ever venerable and delicious PB and J. Working across the street from a Whole Foods and not wanting to seem callow around the office, I instinctively did the adult thing and purchased the fanciest, most organic peanut butter I could find. What a mistake. The spread was barely palatable. Thinking I just choose the wrong brand, I went back the next week and picked an equally precocious jar of organic peanut butter. Even worse. As far as I can tell, organic equals bland and disgusting when it comes to spreads.
After some considerable research (ok, Wikipedia) the only discernible difference between organic peanut butter and normal peanut butter, beyond the drop-off in taste and increase in price, is that the organic variety is grown without the use of any pesticides. And although this sounds lovely, I am not sure I want peanuts that weren’t protected from pests. That doesn’t sound good. I can’t imagine that the normal peanut farmers are just pissing away money on needless chemicals, so their must be some reason.
So, how exactly are the organic producers protecting their crops? Do they have teams of quasi-enslaved peasants on their plantations keeping the pests off by hand? Because if so, that so sounds like the enlightened and humanistic approach to the problem, as opposed to the myopic and backwards approach of employing science and decades of research to safeguard crops with carefully tested chemicals. And aren’t chemicals derived from organic compounds? Would everyone be happy if someone started producing “organic” pesticides?
And all of this wouldn’t matter, if only the more expensive and “environmentally friendly” peanut butter tasted better. But it doesn’t. So I quit this charade of acting like an adult in the kitchen. And I am though pretending to give a damn about soil integrity half way around the world. I’m coming back to you Jiffy. Perhaps the missing ingredients in organic peanut butter were your tasty Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, semi-hydrated…