Warning: The following piece of news may send you into a tailspin of panic. (At least, that's what happened to me when I read it.) Because of a peanut shortage this year, peanut butter prices are expected to skyrocket this fall, according to industry experts. It may sound like I'm using a word like "skyrocket" just to scare you. Unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating: Jif is projected to increase in price by 30 percent; Skippy's price will reportedly jump by 35 percent; and even Peter Pan will cost 25 percent more. I'd say those increases certainly qualify as "skyrocketing," wouldn't you?
It's beginning to look like we won't be able to afford peanut butter -- or, at least, as much of it. What would a world without peanut butter actually look like? I'm shuddering at the thought of going down that road ...
The most obvious meal that would be ruined is lunch -- unless you actually like plain jelly sandwiches (and then I'm guessing that you have more problems than just expensive peanut butter). Of course, my breakfast routine would be interrupted as well: A slice of toast spread with peanut butter and bananas suddenly becomes just toast and bananas? Yeah, that doesn't sound like much fun.
That's not all. Basically, you can forget about peanut butter cookies and peanut butter and chocolate squares, too. Apples, chocolate, graham crackers, celery sticks, and don't forget raisins will be oh so lonesome without it. And, I guess we'll have to get used to Reese's Cups and Frozen Pie, both of which, now that I'm typing it, just sound so very wrong.
Here's the thing about peanut butter that makes a significant price hike so scary: Consumption of peanut butter has actually risen by 10 percent since 2008 because it's a much more affordable protein option for families than, say, meat or fish. But meat and fish I can imagine doing without. A life without peanut butter sounds like one that's just not worth living.
Could you exist without peanut butter?
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