Here are the nutrition labels from one brand of organic and natural peanut butter (both types are the same brand).
|Organic peanut butter nutrition label||Natural peanut butter nutrition label|
There is not a huge difference in the nutrition (as we’ve seen in other organic products). Like natural peanut butter, organic peanut butter only contains peanuts and salt, which means the peanut oil will separate to the top of the jar. (Which means some potentially messy stirring.)
Just as with other organic products, organic peanut farmers are limited in the types of fertilizers and pesticides they can use. Fungicides (products that prevent or kill molds) are very important in peanut production. Peanuts, like corn, can be infected with molds that produce aflatoxin. Organic peanut farmers need to be extra vigilant to be sure that their peanuts are not infected with molds that can produce aflatoxin.
There are strict regulations about how much aflatoxin is allowed in foods. For both corn and peanuts, there must be less than 20 parts per billion. (Remember, if you have 1 million dollars in pennies, and paint 20 pennies bright blue, you will have 20 parts per billion of blue pennies.)
Just like with corn, if the aflatoxin level in a crop of peanuts is too high, the farmer can’t sell it.
These are just two great things about our food system – we have all kinds of choices (regular, reduced-fat, natural, no-stir natural, and organic peanut butter, not to mention creamy, chunky, and other flavors) and a very safe food supply (there is a whole lot of testing and quality control that happens before food gets to your grocery store).