Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ad of the Week: Jif Peanut Butter

This one has been bugging me for years. "Choosy moms choose Jif," says the commercial. I wasn't completely sure what that means, and I didn't want to presume, so I went to their site to find out why they are making that claim. Guess what? I couldn't find anything. So moms who care about their children and families would only want the . . . what . . . the best? . . . the cheapest? . . . the most convenient? . . . the prettiest jar? . . . the shortest name?

Here's the product information for their creamy peanut butter: "Hot roasted peanuts sealed warm for creamy, smooth, fresh-roasted flavor". But guess what? There's more in that jar than just hot roasted peanuts. Let's take a look at the ingredients:
MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS AND SUGAR. CONTAINS 2 PERCENT OR LESS OF: MOLASSES, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN), FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES AND SALT.
In addition to the peanuts, there's sugar, molasses, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, those pesky mono- and diglycerides, and salt.

There are no trans fats in fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, but there are trans fats in this product that choosy moms are supposed to choose. Here is how Jif has chosen to respond to the trans fat issue (from their website):
Should peanut butter be avoided because it is high in trans fats?

No. Based on the newly proposed FDA regulations about trans fat labeling, peanut butter would declare ZERO (0) trans fat. Independent analyses of peanut butters by The Peanut Institute have shown extremely low levels of trans fat. Some peanut butter contains a very small amount of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil to help prevent oil separation, which is preferable to most consumers.
I love how they have sidestepped the trans fat issue. Thanks to the FDA regulation, the label will be able say Zero (0) trans fat, even though there are trans fats in there. And they only have those trans fats in there because it's what their consumers prefer.

I paid a visit to the Peanut Institute's website and after a little searching found information on the independent study mentioned above, where it mentions a USDA study that says the trans fat levels are undetectable in commercial peanut butter. It also says that "To be called peanut butter, both commercial and 'natural' types must contain a minimum of 90% peanuts." Can you say chocolate?

I found a solution to the oil separation, thanks to my brother. If you store the jar upside down, the oils end up more towards the bottom of the jar when you open it, so there isn't that big pool of oil on top that makes for all that messy stirring. It only takes a minute or two to stir the oil back into the peanut butter when it's spread more throughout the jar, so it's not that much of a problem. Once the oil is stirred into the peanut butter, I store it in the refrigerator so it doesn't separate again.

Call me wacky, but I prefer for my peanut butter to be 100% peanuts. The brand I use doesn't even have salt. And the funny thing is (although maybe not so funny) that when I made the switch to natural peanut butter several years ago, it tasted the way I remember peanut butter tasting when I was a kid, thick and sticky and fresh-roasted.

Jif does have a new, natural product for those health-conscious choosy moms. Here's what it contains:
MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF PALM OIL, SALT, MOLASSES.
Most of the other "natural" peanut butters I've seen only have peanuts, and maybe salt.

So here's what I want to know: How choosy can a mom be if she's choosing Jif?

6 comments:

Carolyn said...

too funny, dude, we are on opposite ends of this one!

JIF is by far my favorite peanut butter. i hate skippy with a passion and i also hate any all natural ones that have no sugar. :)

dejamo said...

More power to you, for sure! I am not here to judge anyone's taste on these items, just to close the gaps between the image and the product.

If you prefer products that have trans fats and other ingredients that belie claims of health or comparisons to home-made in them, that's between you and the product. I just want to be sure people know that they're there. ;)

I will say that the less I eat of those products the more I taste the additives when I do, and they no longer taste good to me.

misreall said...

Is it just me, or does their product description sound like it might be from a sex scene in a romance novel?

dejamo said...

mmmmmmm . . . steamy!

Anonymous said...

Now JIF is adding to its marketing direction that their peanut butter has "No trans fat and no partially hyrogenated vegetable oil." And As I look at the ingredients. FULLY hydrogenated vegetable oil. What a load of crap. JIF peanut butter is very bad for you. Fully hydrogenated vegetable oil is one step before plastic. Its like asking me which I would rather have first, Cancer or a heart attack? What a bunch of sneaks to get around the buzz word lingos. Sont buy anything just because it says no trans fat.

Anonymous said...

"sont" lol

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