The Peanut Butter Conspiracy

Recently I received a question asking if organic peanut butter is better than the conventional.  Organic peanut butter is obviously a better option, but in this case you’re just choosing from the “lesser of evils”.

The vast majority of peanuts used on the market contain a dangerous compound known as aflatoxin which is one of the most carcinogenic substances known. You can sometimes find rare species of peanuts like Wild Jungle Peanuts, but your best bet is to go with almond butter, cashew butter, or one of my new favorites Pumpkin Seed Butter!

It’s interesting to see that one of our recent cultures “comfort foods” is actually a bonafide health assassin.  Peanuts aren’t actually a “nut” as people know it to be.  It’s a species of legume, and millions of people have very strong allergies to it.

For years our favorite peanut butter brands have been filled with artery clogging hydrogenated oils.  Take a look at the ingredients of brands like Jif and Peter Pan and you’ll be shocked…  It’s not even partially hydrogenated oil, it’s FULLY hydrogenated, which is just one molecule away from being plastic!

I felt a strong need to devote a chapter in my book The Key To Quantum Health to warn people of the harmful ingredients that are hidden in processed foods.  Even more importantly, the book also provides top alternatives, to help turn seeming challenges into abundant opportunities.  It’s no longer about being victimized or upset about what’s been going on with our food supply.  It’s about being aware and making intelligent choices for the greater health of ourselves and our loved ones.

Let’s up-grade the american classic.  Get your sprouted grain bread, some fresh-made jam, and some decadent almond butter to pack up our kids lunch box with.

And if you’re in the mood for some wholesome comfort food, ditch the counterfeit peanuts for the AUTHENTIC seed and nut butter experience.

Let me know what your favorite seed or nut butter is.  Post it down below.


3 Hidden Food Additives That Are Blocking Your Weight Loss Success

Why Hydrogenated Oils Should Be Avoided at All Costs

Aflatoxin definition – Medical Dictionary definitions of popular medical terms easily defined on MedTerms

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  • Sam
    13 Nov 2010, 6:25 am

    Sad news because my 3 year old daughter loves organic peanut butter. And believe me, I want to start buying chashew or almond butter but it’s not always in the budget…especially raw butters. at least we’re eating organic…there are like over 10 different pesticides in one jar of conventional peanut butter.

    • Shawn
      14 Nov 2010, 12:56 am

      Sam you are definitely doing what’s most important, which is going Organic. That in itself cuts down tremendously in what we and our families our exposed to.

      You’re right about the higher price of the other nut butters, but as demand goes up, prices will continue to come down (which they already have significantly) which is just the way markets work. If we support the farmers/ producers that make the foods we want, they will be able to pride us more for better prices. Another strategy in the mean time is buying online from sites like and The Raw Food World in our products section; Plus at many health food stores you can make your own fresh nut butter which you can buy by the pound. Thanks for your insights!

    • Stephen
      12 Jan 2012, 5:19 pm

      check out this article from Dr Mercola.

      “Fortunately, there are some relatively safe ways to reduce these negative effects. First, you can obtain Arrowhead Mills organic peanut butter. These peanuts are grown in New Mexico, and aflatoxin has not been reported to be a problem in that state due to the dry conditions. The organic version of the peanut butter is also pesticide free”

      • Shawn
        22 Jan 2012, 11:05 am

        Stephen, thanks so much for posting the link. I’ve been digging through all of the latest research and working hard to reply to all of my messages. I agree with utilizing Arrowhead Mills for sure. The only issue is that seasons, conditions, and harvesting methods change accordingly. I LOVE peanuts butter, but generally it’s just too risky to use on a consistant basis. The potential danger of peanut butter is based on a fungal organism which is very shifty and can lie dormant for very long periods of time. The safest choice is to go to a different nut butter, or at minimum avoid using peanut butter too frequently. Even the excellent link you posted states that issues have not “reported”, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. Thank again!

  • william fedrick
    13 Nov 2010, 7:07 pm

    I love roasted raw peanuts . Is there a problem eating peanuts this way?

    • Shawn
      14 Nov 2010, 1:05 am

      Great question William. Number one, if you’ve never experienced and “allergic reactions” from the peanuts you’re eating (things like inflammation, lethargy, congestion, etc.) then you have to O.K. to just listen to your body and enjoy. Number Two, some nefarious substances can make it past our initial lines of defense if you’re not really tuned in to listening to your body. This being said, whenever possible you want to make sure that the nuts and seeds you’re eating have not been treated with pesticides and fungicides. If you enjoy roasted peanuts, and it works well with your system, then definitely go for it!

  • JH
    16 Nov 2010, 11:23 pm

    I’ve always known true nuts are (generally) nutritionally better than peanuts. Now however, I have a reason to avoid peanut butter. Thank you for this invaluable information Shawn.
    I have tried almond butter before and I love it but haven’t made a regular effort to get it instead of peanut butter, even though it tastes way better. For the first time today I picked up some Kettle Brand cashew butter at my local health food store. It was expensive ($7.79 for 11.5 oz) but it was worth it! It is unsalted & unsweetened (0 g of sodium & sugar, naturally I guess). It is made in Orgeon. I made a sandwich with some Dave’s Killer Bread, have you heard of it? It is SO good. (Coincidentally DKB is also made in Oregon). I love this cashew butter and will be buying it again (I’ve ditched peanut butter permanently now, I’ll stick to my raw peanuts). Next time I may also try some of the other nut butters they have. They also have sunflower seed butter which I’ve tried before, but I’m going to ask if they’ll carry pumpkin seed butter. I’ve been eating raw pumpkin seeds every day for at least several years now.

    • Shawn
      19 Nov 2010, 3:04 am

      Awesome stuff! I hadn’t heard of Dave’s Killer Bread, but I just took a look at the website and all I can say is WOW. Great story and great ingredients. That bread with some cashew butter must be out of this world. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sara
    18 Nov 2010, 10:58 pm

    How do we know if a product is truly organic? Based on what you said about MSG being added under various other names, how do we know that a product is truly free of the pesticides/additives?

    • Shawn
      19 Nov 2010, 3:57 am

      That’s a really, really great question Sara. This is the reasoning behind the big arguments for eating 100% locally grown food. So that you actually know who’s growing your food, who’s processing your food, and who’s delivering your food to you. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to see where your food is actually coming from. We all do the best that we can right now, because it’s really not realistic to eat 100% local for most people. If you haven’t seen these films already: Food, Inc., The Future of Food, and Raw For Thirty then I HIGHLY recommend them. These give a real download as to what’s going on with our food supply, and some strategies to do something about it.

      There’s one precautionary measure to take though… And that’s to not get caught up too much in the “doom and gloom” because it’s really a valuable gift to be able to learn about exactly what you DON’T want, so that you can focus 100% on what you do want. Eating food that we grow ourselves or know the person who grew it is the only way to know if your food was treated properly. From there we have to work together to build and support companies that truly care about our families.

  • Kay
    11 Dec 2010, 5:40 pm

    Hey Shawn,

    I love your videos! Thank you.
    I have a question about peanut butter. First let me say..I had NO IDEA about fully hydrogenated vegetable oil. How then does JIF get away with “Trans Fat 0g” ?


    • Shawn
      23 Dec 2010, 5:34 am

      Thanks for the great question, Kay. It’s a simply loophole in nutritional facts labeling. As long as it’s less than half a gram of hydrogenated oil per serving, manufacturers can legally put 0 Trans Fat on the product labels. Even though it’s not really zero as they claim, the FDA still allows it.