Is Peanut Butter Safe to Eat?


[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] O[/dropcap]ne of the things I love about the internet is having so much information at my finger tips.

One of the things that drives me crazy about the internet is knowing which information to trust.

Interesting times.

The other day I got this question from one of my star students at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School


I’m curious your thoughts on peanut butter.

I’ve heard a lot against it (aflatoxin, rancidity) but seems maybe those concerns are overblown the more I read.

Carol from Pittsburg

Is Peanut Butter Safe to Eat?

It’s a great question.

Aflatoxin concern is real.

Peanuts are susceptible to mould growth during storage which produces toxins absorbed by the nuts.

Small exposure to aflatoxin generally isn’t problematic to people. However exposure over long periods of time (think years) has been linked to cancer.

Particularly liver cancer.

Luckuly alfatoxin is easy to detect in a lab. And this is a well known problem.

So I buy my peanut butter from a specialist who I trust to test their peanuts for aflatoxin.

Rancidity is the natural result of oils ageing.

It’s easy to detect yourself.

Just smell your peanut butter. If the aroma is fresh and peanutty, you’re all good.

If there’s anything ‘funky’ or ‘off’, rancidity is the most likely culprit. So scrap that jar and get a fresh one.

Again a good quality supplier makes all the difference.

Some Favourite Peanut Butter Recipes

+ Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry
+ Massaman Curry
+ Hugh’s Sweet Potato Gratin
+ Green Curry of Broccoli Soup
+ Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola
+ Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
+ Home Made Peanut Butter
+ Peanut Butter Coconut Craving-Killer
+ Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge
+ Peanut Butter Cheesecake
+ Peanut Butter Ganache
+ See the Peanut Butter Archives.

Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy your peanut butter!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

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  • Thank you for clarifying the peanut Butter. I love peanut butter but was put off by alfatoxin and mold stories.
    I buy organic p.b. so if I go on their websites do you think they will say if they test. I’m in Canada so don’t know of anyone making and selling it locally. Thank you.

    • If they don’t say on their website Donna, you can always contact their customer service. HOwver I’ve be really surprised if they care enough to produce organic, they probably care enough to test.

  • Although I go through your recipes what I appreciate is your alternatives. We are totally plant based and I hate the kitchen. So I like your quickies. Have tried some of your recipes but I love your emails. Its like a friend visiting.

  • Is peanut butter that has only peanuts and salt pasteurized to kill bacteria and fungi?

  • Just watching “American greed” about salmonella tainted peanuts (turned into peanut butter by a different company) sickening many and KILLING 6 OR 8 … IT CAN BE DANGEROUS

    • Good point William.

      I’ve also recently been learning more about lectins in peanuts and have switched to making my own Macadamia and Almond Butter – which is even more delicious!

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