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Creamy and CrunchyAn Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food$
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Jon Krampner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162333

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162333.001.0001

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“You Mean It’s Not Good for Me?”

“You Mean It’s Not Good for Me?”

Chapter:
(p.175) Fifteen “You Mean It’s Not Good for Me?”
Source:
Creamy and Crunchy
Author(s):

Jon Krampner

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231162333.003.0015

This chapter examines health concerns regarding peanut butter. In the late 1980s, peanut butter's abiding popularity was demonstrated by the appearance of stores exclusively devoted to selling peanut-butter-related products. But as Americans grew increasingly health conscious, there were dark clouds on the horizon for peanut butter, with increasing public worry about aflatoxin, peanut allergies, fat, trans fats, and even choking. People began to say, “You mean it's not good for me?” and peanut butter sales fell off. As a rule, the peanut butter industry makes a good job of screening out aflatoxin at every step of the production cycle. While the risk of aflatoxin to American consumers is low, it is still higher than the risk from pesticides. But the health problem that would give the peanut and peanut butter industries the biggest headache was fat. The industry also had to counter the negative effects of peanut allergy on their business. By the early 2000s, the industry's counterattack had revived the fortunes of peanuts and peanut butter.

Keywords:   peanut butter, aflatoxin, fat, trans fats, choking, peanut butter industry, consumers, peanut allergy, peanuts

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