I know peanut butter. Peanut butter is a dear, dear friend of mine. Creamy, salty, and stick-to-your-gums thick, it satisfies my hungry belly and gives my inner child a warm hug. But peanut butter has been keeping a dark secret, and I just don't know if I can love it like I used to.
Researchers have found traces of flame retardants in peanut butter.
Peanut butter, how could you? I feel so betrayed! I always saw you as a safe comfort food (for those of us without peanut allergy), but suddenly you're starting to look dangerous. What I want to know is, exactly how dangerous are you?
I'm not throwing out my jar of peanut butter ... yet. The study looked at 36 high-fat food items like several brands of peanut butter (also cold cuts and snacks) and found 15 with traces of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). The study doesn't specify brands; all we know is that none were organic. And the amounts of chemical found were all below levels the government considers dangerous.
But still. The government doesn't exactly have the highest standards for food safety. And when you consider how many other toxins are hitting us every day from our sofas, laptops, cars, the air, etc. it all starts to add up. Not to mention, even trace amounts of HBCD are going to interact with the other wacky toxins we take in every day.
And the big problem with HBCD and the reason for the study is that they don't just flush out our system. We store those chemicals in our fat cells. For the rest of our lives.
But back to my peanut butter. I don't even know if buying organic or making my own are solutions because researchers believe the toxins get in there from, well, everything: Water, air, soil. Junk is everywhere. Suddenly eating peanut butter is no longer the carefree, nostalgic experience it used to be. I'll probably still eat it sometimes, but it'll taste a lot heavier.
Will this change how you feel about eating peanut butter?
Image via mrsdkrebs/Flickr