Product Type: Whole Earth Spread
Newest Review: ... comes in a glass jar with a green cap. The jar is quite sturdy, but unfortunately not the cap - I've sadly dropped my jar of peanut butter... more
Worthy, if in effect slightly misguided dead right-on product
Whole Earth Crunchy Original Peanut Butter
Member Name: worst_trip
Whole Earth Crunchy Original Peanut Butter
Advantages: Quite tasty - tastes like peanut butter
Disadvantages: Has more sugar in it than the brands that add sugar to their product(!)
Following a resolution to try and eat less of the sweet stuff, I recently swapped to buying Whole Earth no-added-sugar peanut butter, as it contains only peanuts, vegetable oil (this being palm oil) and (sea) salt. The nuts that go into it are unbleached, which presumably means they still have their interior papery skins on, as you can see the little dark-brown flecks of ground-up nut shell all through the peanut butter mix. It costs about the £2 per 340g bottle - which is about in line for peanut butter in general, although I see from mysupermarket.com that there is quite a bit of variation in prices for this product in different supermarkets; you can pay anywhere from about £1.70 per bottle (in Asda) to the £2.60 mark, so it may be worth shopping around.
This has to be about the most right-on peanut butter on the block, because not only is it approved by various worthy food organizations / consumer groups (eg. the Vegetarian Society), but the bottle it comes in is made from recycled glass, AND the palm oil that goes into its manufacture is certified by the RSPO - which, a swift Altavista search tells me, is the acronym for the 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil' production - an industry group comprised of various palm oil producers, who are all committed in various nebulous ways to producing palm oil in a vaguely sustainable manner.
Now, I'm no palm oil production zealot, but the RSPO's stance on conversion of "forest" for the purposes of palm oil production - this being equatorial rainforest, mind you, since that's what generally grows in the areas where palm oil plants can be farmed - seemed a bit of a cop-out. What they say they do is to attempt to not plough under what they've identified as being particularly "high conservation value" bits of rainforest. So presumably less high conservation rainforest is all right to have oil palms grown on it, in that case, is it? I'm not for a moment saying that people in developing countries - which mainly means the tropics - shouldn't take up certain profitable, agricultural options that come their way, but what does somewhat irk me is when liberal do-gooders from the west, who want to use various products that are produced in pretty much impossible-to-be-environmentally-friendly-manners try to set up organizations like what the RSPO appears to me to be, as basically, sops for their massively over-inflated woolly-minded social consciences. I may have misread this entire situation, but slapping 'made only using RSPO certified palm oil' in this case just doesn't seem anywhere near sufficient, given the scale of the problem in hand.
Of course the peanut butter like all such products is massively calorific, and has 600-odd calories in it per 100g. It's more than half by weight comprised of fat, and of this, 20% is saturated fat (so there's just under 10g of saturated fat per 100g) - which struck me as being a bit worryingly high - although this figure does at least let us know what became of all the palm oil that went into its manufacture.
Astonishingly (and somewhat ironically, given my reason for trying this stuff out in the first place) if the figures I saw on the mysupermarket.co.uk website are to be believed, somehow this peanut butter ends up actually having MORE sugar in it than the brands that put sugar in their product as an extra ingredient (common or garden Sunpat peanut butter, for example, has about a gram less of sugar in it than this stuff, per 100g).
Summary: "RSPO, my arse," as Jim Royle might say?
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