What’s Old-Fashioned Is New Again
This chapter charts the history of the Deaf Smith brand of peanut butter. In the early 1970s, the conservative High Plains residents of Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle region were treated to the sight of Volkswagen buses filled with hippies turning off Interstate 40 and heading straight for the county seat of Hereford. The town was named after the breed of cattle first brought to the area in 1898, but these visitors weren't there for beef: they were looking for a start-up company called Arrowhead Mills and the organic foods it made, which included Deaf Smith peanut butter. It was Frank Ford, the son of a county agricultural agent in Hereford, who put Arrowhead Mills on the map and became a leader of the burgeoning organic food movement. A proponent of natural peanut butter, Ford decried hydrogenation, arguing that it makes it harder-to-digest food. Until the late 1980s, Deaf Smith was manufactured at Portales Valley Mills in New Mexico. But when that company was sold, production was moved to American Nut in Lewisville, Texas.
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