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  1. #1
    The Thread Killa MCconditioner's Avatar
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    Natural Peanut Butter Eaters and Aflatoxin

    I thought this was an interesting read.

    The Perils of Peanut Butter (http://www.deanesmay.com/archives/007598.html)


    There is a common family of molds known as aspergillus. These molds are everywhere. You'll find them in your carpet, for example, as well as in a lot of foods. Now, in a nice clean environment, you won't have lots of this stuff around, but believe me, it's there. A particular variety of aspergillus is known as Aspergillus Vlavus, which is coincidentally also the name of the 14th Emperor of the Roman Empire.

    Okay, just kidding about the Emperor bit. However, aspergillus flavus is a mold found in small amounts in wheat, most legumes, and most tree-based nuts. However, it is found in particularly large quantities in two sources: corn and (you guessed it) peanuts. Furthermore, aspergillus flavus is one of the types of mold which produces a carcinogen known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is considered a cancer-causing substance in humans and animals by both the FDA and world health authorities.

    What's particularly insidious about aspergillus flavus is that it is found in especially heavy quantities in peanuts and corn and, except in very extreme cases, isn't even visible to the naked eye. Furthermore, no practical way exists to get it out of the foods it's found in. While you can sometimes kill the aspergillus by cooking it, the aflatoxin it created will be left behind.

    The most common way most people get aflatoxin in their diets is through peanut butter. Peanuts have an especially high naturally-occurring concentration of aspergillus flavus mold. Furthermore, while most peanuts are roasted, the roasting process rarely kills all the mold. The longer peanuts sit around in the store or in your house, the more of the mold will grow back--and again, it generally won't be visible to the naked eye. The longer the mold grows, the more aflatoxin builds up.

    Here's the most interesting thing about all this: usually your "organic" or "natural" peanut butters will have the highest aflatoxin concentration. The highest concentration of all, though, will typically be the stuff you buy in the store where they take peanuts and grind them into peanut butter for you while you wait. Because while the USDA and FDA has rules for how much aflatoxin is allowed in food before it's shipped to stores, there's no measure of it after it reaches the stores. Those peanuts could have been sitting on the shelves at the story for weeks or months at room temperature, building up mold. It's even worse if the air is mildly moist. Furthermore, if you fresh-grind those nuts into peanut butter, the mold keeps growing in the peanut butter.

    Once again, it rarely grows to the point where you can see it with the naked eye.

    This means that your safest source of peanut butter is generally your cheap, garden variety Jif or Skippy. The companies that make those generally get the peanuts fresh, roast and grind them immediately, put them through an effective cooking and homogenization process, then seal them in airtight jars. The mold buildup on those will be much lower than your typical "fresh" or "natural" peanut butters.

    By the way, the aflatoxin threat is taken seriously enough that OSHA actually requires workers dealing with large quantities of peanuts to wear facial masks so they don't breath in too much of the mold.

    Also by the way, as a general rule, no matter what kind of peanut butter you buy, it's safest if, after you open the airtight seal, you refrigerate it. This slows down the mold buildup and reduces the amount of aflatoxin produced over time. Of course, it's not as easy to spread onto your bread that way. But it does reduce the cancer risk.

    Statistically, just as a rule of thumb, two tablespoons of peanut butter a day produce a higher risk of death than living next to a nuclear power plant. A lot higher, if you eat peanut butter made from peanuts that sit around on the shelves for weeks at a time, or from opened jars of peanut butter that sit around unrefrigerated for weeks at a time.

    This is just one of many areas where the words "natural" and "organic" do not necessarily translate to "fewer toxins" or "more healthy." Of course, put it in perspective: there are other things we do every day that are a lot more dangerous than eating a peanut butter sandwich. But to understand that, you have to get serious-minded, and start taking statistical analysis of risk factors seriously. Alas, most people refuse to do that sort of thing.
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  2. #2
    Registered User RyanJay's Avatar
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    Great, another report about how I can't eat something else because I will get cancer and die. Thanks for ruining peanut butter ass hole.

    hahaha just kidding
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    The Thread Killa MCconditioner's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RyanJay
    Thanks for ruining peanut butter ass hole.
    lol

    I will continue to eat my peanut butter. I like Jif or simply Jif.
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    Registered User Mets need Juice's Avatar
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    o yea my mom got cancer and she never abused any bad foods weve awlays eatne healthy, so the dr tell her its stress...in my opinion...bull****ing**** we have no idea wut causes cancer adn were just swinging blindly at an unforeseeable enemy..i mean i can now name u like 150 basic foods that can cause cancer..r u gonna stop eaitng them ? hopefully not
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    The Thread Killa MCconditioner's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mets need Juice
    o yea my mom got cancer and she never abused any bad foods weve awlays eatne healthy, so the dr tell her its stress...in my opinion...bull****ing**** we have no idea wut causes cancer adn were just swinging blindly at an unforeseeable enemy..i mean i can now name u like 150 basic foods that can cause cancer..r u gonna stop eaitng them ? hopefully not
    Thats not the point of the post at all. Nowhere did I claim that eating pb will cause cancer.

    I will not stop eating peanut butter...there are however ways to minimize your risks. Simple things, like storing it in airtight containers and refrigerating it.
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    The Thread Killa MCconditioner's Avatar
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    bump
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    The FDA and food laws are strict in North America and they regulate the peanuts, and peanut butter to have a safe amount of it. Those most of the jars that do not meet standards end up in thrid world/ developing countires mainly south america.
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    Exactly. More investigation will heavily suggest PB is perfectly safe in 1st word countries. The thing to take away from this is to not keep opened PB out of the fridge for long periods of time (like months).

    If you go through a jar in a few days, no problem, otherwise you should probably consider refrigerating it - as it probably states on the label. And certainly refrigerate fresh ground peanuts.
    Last edited by Jules Verne; 12-08-2005 at 10:25 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Mets need Juice
    o yea my mom got cancer and she never abused any bad foods weve awlays eatne healthy, so the dr tell her its stress...in my opinion...bull****ing**** we have no idea wut causes cancer adn were just swinging blindly at an unforeseeable enemy..i mean i can now name u like 150 basic foods that can cause cancer..r u gonna stop eaitng them ? hopefully not

    I agree...... 5 years ago I had cancer, and I always ate what my mother cooked, and it was always healthy food. My family has no background of cancer, and yet I got it. Some people live their whole life smoking a 2 packs of cigs a week, and they live till they're 90. Some people smoke for about a year, and they get lung or mouth cancer and die. Who has answers to these questions? Some people get diseases and some don't lol.
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