Are There Bugs In Peanut Butter?

Who doesn’t love peanut butter? For one, it goes well with a smoothie, tastes better with bread, and bonds with your grape jelly. Then again, if you love Asian dishes, pad Thai might not taste bad with your peanut butter. In one sentence, everyone has their secret recipe for using peanut butter magically.

But no matter how well we know how to use it, there’s one thing we all don’t expect. That; with peanut butter, you eat bits and pieces of yucky bugs. In fact, some people even say that rodent hairs and poops are included as well.

So, how true is all this? Does the government know? And is it legal? Well… this article is filled with all the answers.

Are There Bugs in Peanut Butter? 

As disgusting as it may sound, our dear favorite peanut butter isn’t just tasty, creamy, and crunchy because of the peanut recipe inside it alone. Other not-so-edible things are included as well. Among them are different bugs or rather, insects of varying kinds.

However, the bugs aren’t used in their entirety. Instead, what the peanut butter manufacturers use are the insect parts like their wings, legs, and even their poops. Yet, the Food and Drug Administration, aka, FDA, allows it. According to them, you can make and sell about 100 grams of peanut butter that contains 30+ insect parts or poops.

Now, let’s do the maths. A jar of peanut butter often weighs about 12 ounces. If you fill it to the brim with peanut butter, that should take around 340 grams.

If you calculate that at 30 bug parts per jar, then with one jar of peanut butter, it’s most probable that you eat at least 100 insect parts. Yummy, right? No, we’d rather you got a barf bag close because it’s about to get even nastier.

Does Peanut Butter Have Rodent Poops in It?

Aside from insect parts, rat hairs and grits are also among the nasty things that peanut butter contains. According to the FDA itself, you should always expect that 100 grams of your peanut butter would contain at least 1 rodent hair. Since we can’t evaluate rat poops mixed with semi-liquid butter, it’s hard to say how many rodent droppings you’d find per gram.

Under normal usage, two tablespoons of peanut butter are enough to make a sandwich. With those two spoons, you’re expected to consume about 8 bug parts, a few rodent poops, and hairs. So, yes! Jars of peanut butter have rodent poops in them. Not only that, but you’ll also find rat hairs and other heavens-know-what as well.

Why Are There Bugs in Peanut Butter?

As we all know, peanut butter is made and processed on a commercial scale by different companies. Oftentimes, during the peanut processing stages in the factories, these butter get polluted by pests of different kinds.

Among them include cockroaches, other bugs, and rodents. In serene factories, peanut butter producers do try to eradicate these pests using different strategies. But then, they often find it difficult to chase the pests off completely. As such, the jars of butter get contaminated, and hence, processed with bits and traces of bugs, rodent hairs, and rat poops.

However, since we have no way of knowing how the bug parts affect the taste of the resulting peanut butter, this fact does not completely vindicate the manufacturers. But according to the FDA, the regulations only allow bug parts into peanut butter if and only if they came from two sources. One, if the insect part originates from pre-and post-harvest processing stages.

Two, if the bug parts snuck in during the peanut butter making itself. Otherwise, it would be illegal. But then again, how do we know which one is which? And how does the FDA confirm the number and the source? Well… we don’t know. What we know is that the number of bug parts permitted by the FDA is safe for us to eat.

After all, you’ve been eating your peanut butter, almond butter, and other butter for so long now, and here you are still here.

Are the Bugs in Peanut Butter Dangerous to Your Health?

The short answer to this is no. In fact, the FDA insists on that for two reasons. One, they believe it is not feasible to harvest, refine and produce food items without natural anomalies as we have with peanut butter.

But second, they claim that the number of bug parts and rodent filths inside peanut butter is so small that it poses no health issue.

For ages now, humans in different parts of the world have made insect-eating a habit. If you visit some places in Asia, Africa, and America, then you’d see how much of an integral menu they are.

Over there, some people even eat them in their wriggling and raw state to add more fun to the culture.

Not only that, these insects are excellent protein sources that we rarely get from plants. Luckily, with foods like peanut butter, black pepper, and even your creamy chocolate, you get to eat them in a more refined state. So, the FDA made a good call with our peanut butter.

But What Happens When You Eat Rat Poops?

Unlike insects, rat poops are not that safe. In fact, eating it would make you suffer from a bacterial infection called Salmonellosis.

This disease comes with a lot of symptoms that can make life a hell-in-a-cell for anybody. Among these symptoms are fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, which can continue for several days. In severe cases, the affected person may land in the hospital wing.

However, as said earlier, peanut butter contains very little mouse poop that’s negligible. So, you can eat a moderate amount of peanut butter without worrying. But be careful, though; too much of anything is bad news on its own.

Can Vegans Eat Peanut Butter?

Now that we’ve established that peanut butter has traces of rat poops, insect parts, and hairs, can we then say that peanut butter is vegan? Well… largely, yes! And this is because peanut butter is a mere mix of ordinary peanuts, salts, oil, sugar, and sometimes, honey. Every peanut in the market have the following components:

  1. at least 90 peanuts;
  2. additives like salt, sugar, or honey;
  3. oils like palm oils, vegetable oils, rapeseed, or cottonseed oils.

In the same vein, the FDA clarified that the following items should be avoided in peanut butter:

  1. chemical flavorings;
  2. artificial preservatives;
  3. chemical additives;
  4. colorings;
  5. sweeteners.

Now, we’ve mentioned the standards and the rules. Reality, as we know, often deviates from the rules. And manufacturers, because of their own pockets, often deviate from these rules. Let’s talk about reality. By reality here, we mean the average components of peanut butter in the market.

What Do Most Jars of Peanut Butter Contain?

Normally, each brand of peanut butter has its own secret recipes. But then, every spread contains at least peanuts, oils, salts, sugars, and sometimes, honey. Because of these components, many experts believe that peanut butter is quite nutritious. So, at the very least, a jar of peanut butter should contain a spectrum of the following nutrients:

  1. vitamins e.g Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and Niacin ;
  2. proteins ;
  3. fibers;
  4. polyphenols ;
  5. anti-oxidants ;
  6. useful elements like zinc, magnesium, Phosphorus Calcium, iron, and many more;
  7. and, of course, simple sugars.

However, every person has a range of intake within the recommended limit for daily use. Often, this range is determined by factors like age, height, sex, weight, and health history.

Now, with all that said and done, we expected all the peanut butter on the market to pass through the FDA for scrutiny. We can say with certainty that almost all peanut butter we buy is close to 100 percent vegan. So, yes, friends, we sure can invite our vegan buddies to have a bite!

Does Organic Peanut Butter Have Bugs in It?

So far, we’ve tried to establish, on solid grounds, that most jars of peanut butter have bug elements in them. But then, the examples we’ve quoted revolve around the industrially refined ones. So, does that mean that organic peanut butter is bug-free? No, No. Don’t make that decision so fast. There’s a little twist.

As you’ve rightly imagined, organic peanut butter differs from refined ones because of the way they’re being grown and processed, and in their components.

Compared to others, organic peanut butter has only salt and peanuts; nothing more. But this doesn’t mean that they are handled with more care than the processed ones. In fact, we can assume that most industrial peanut butters have better pest control strategies since they make more quantities.

Being organic doesn’t mean that your peanut butter hasn’t been visited by pests during its processing. So, organic peanuts too may also have bug elements like insect wings, rat poops, and rodent hairs in them too. Nowhere is 100% safe. We are only lucky that the levels permitted by the FDA are safe enough!

Are there bugs in Almond Butter?

Almonds, unlike peanuts, are tree nuts. According to the stats, just 30% of those allergic to peanuts are allergic to nuts like almonds as well.

Many people with peanut allergies often take almond butter as an alternative. In fact, compared to peanut butter, almond butter has higher fats, lower proteins, higher fibers, and lower sugar content.

But allergies aside, almond butter isn’t any better than peanut butter with its bug element composition. Like peanut butter, almond butter has its own fair share of insect wings, rodent feces, and rat hairs. So, the FDA also regulates how much of these lie within it.

From what we know, the regulation still permits the same 100 grams of peanut butter to 1 rodent hair and 30 insect parts per jar.

But like the peanut butter, these fragments pose no health risks. And you can use almond butter in what fashion you want as long as you don’t overeat it. The golden rule once again too much of anything is bad news for anyone. Always remember that.

What Other Common Foods Contain Bugs?

As mouth-gaping as this might sound, peanut butter, almond butter, and other types of butter are just one class out of many other foods that contain bugs. Bugs, again, are just one of those things that these foods may contain. They also may contain rat poops, rodent hairs, and even live, wriggling maggots, think cheese. So, here’s a list of other favorite foods and the kind of bugs they contain:

  1. Chocolate–While chocolate is advertised to be good for our brains, every 125 grams of it has about 74 bug parts.
  2. Cheese–Have you heard of Casu Martzu? It’s a cheese that is served with live, wriggling maggots. This one’s even obvious.
  3. Coffee beans–While you can’t do without a cup of joe, with every sip, always remember that about 120 fragments of insects come with every coffee cup.
  4. Fruit Juices–While many of us can’t go a week without a fruit drink, well… Here’s a spoiler alert. Every 250 ml of packaged fruit juices has at least 5 fly eggs.

Now, here is one line you must cut clear; peanut butter isn’t bad. In fact, they’re tasty, creamy, and safe to eat. But you should face the reality that almost every jar of peanut butter comes with either bug bits, rat poops, or rodent hairs. It’s a norm that we pray for to get better. But for now, enjoy your peanut butter, even if you’re a vegan. You’re in safe hands with the FDA, right?

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