I’ve written about this subject before, asking why companies add sugar to their peanut butter, but this time I’ve been hoodwinked by the word “organic” on the label.
Actually, it was my daughter A- who caught it: I went to the store and knowing that we needed peanut butter, I picked up the Maranatha brand organic no-stir peanut butter, not paying particularly close attention to the label because, well, it was organic so it’ll be just peanuts and perhaps a drop of palm oil.
She looked at the label and sighed.
“Dad? Why did you get a peanut butter with sugar?”
I had no idea. Even though I’ve written about this very subject before, albeit talking about “natural” peanut butter that adds sugar and has a confusing “90% peanuts” on the label. Which leads to the question of what the heck’s the other 10%?
But back to Maranatha!
So I’d done it again, darn it. I bought a peanut butter with added sugar when I absolutely believe that ground up peanuts are by themselves delicious and nothing else needs to be added for flavor. The no-stir thing, yeah, that requires an additional ingredient or two so the oil doesn’t separate, and since I really dislike mixing the oil back into peanut butter, I’m fine with those. But sugar?
Here’s how Maranatha explains it on their Web site:
“many consumers”? I wonder how many of them would prefer it if there was a “sugar added” splash on the front label of the peanut butter. My guess is that the “many customers” would become “a very, very small number of customers” or possibly “none of our consumers”.
Here’s the list of ingredients on the side of the jar:
Yeah, it’s “organic unrefined cane sugar” not some questionable beet sugar from C&H, so I’ll give them that. It is a decent quality ingredient, I just don’t think it should be part of a jar of peanut butter.
What most bugs me about the situation is that I saw the word “organic” on the label and automatically assumed that meant “made with only the finest and healthiest ingredients”. Perhaps it’s the inevitable dilution of organic as it becomes more popular, but it stinks.
What’s your take? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or is there a reasonable expectation that when you see “organic” that the product should be comprised of the fewest, best quality ingredients with nothing unnecessary added?