Monday, September 14, 2009

On the Importance of Reading Labels

I was at the grocery store on Saturday morning. I was looking for our usual Kroger Brand Natural Peanut Butter. (I would love to buy organic, but we use multiple jars a week, which would paralyze my food budget!)

Everything was switched around on the shelves, so I couldn't just grab the jar I recognized. I had to find it first... and in doing so, I noticed that Jif now markets a "Natural Peanut Butter." I picked up the jar, just out of curiosity.

I noticed that in small print on the front it said, "90% real peanuts" -- or something very similar. I thought, what is the other 10% if it's not peanuts!?!

So I turned the jar around to read the label. It listed peanuts as the first ingredient. Then sugar. Then "less than 2%" of the following three ingredients: Palm Oil, Salt and Molasses.

Okay. So, I'm figuring that if it is 90% peanuts and less than 2% of the last three ingredients, that leaves at least 8% sugar. Hmmm... I'll be avoiding Jif's Natural Peanut Butter.

So I'm posting this whole scenario today just to remind us that it is necessary to read labels --even if the product claims to be All-Natural. Without reading labels, we may inadvertently bring home much more sugar than we want to! (I've got an interesting post on Sugar up my sleeves... look for it later on this week.)

Oh, and by the way, Jif's Peanut Butter and Honey product is not a good option either, even if we tend to think of honey as a natural sweetener. It actually lists sugar on the label twice... plus it contains "fully hydrogenated vegetable oils."


Katie said...

It's funny that you wrote about this, about a month ago, I picked up two jars of Jif "natural" peanut butter in a hurry in the store without reading te labels. When I got home and took a closer look at them I saw that they contained sugar! I returned both to the store the next day. What a pain.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the same thing a few weeks ago - I wonder how they can even call it natural! I buy Meijer brand natural peanut butter. It has no GMO's and the ingredient label reads..PEANUTS. Now that is natural!

Anna said...

I LOVE the Kroger brand natural peanut butter. SO yummy.

Irene Cobb said...

I don't remember what brand it was, but a few weeks ago I saw a "natural" peanut butter that had "no stirring required!" on the label. I looked at the ingredients wondering what they added to it to eliminate the stirring requirement, and it was PALM OIL. So, they replaced a partially hydrogenated transfat filler with a saturated fat filler. Not sure if that's the healthiest plan...