Sticky News on Peanut Butter: Caution to Those Grinding Their Own Peanuts
Jul 29, 2011 11:54AM
Consumers that grind their own peanut butter fresh in the supermarket may be at risk for ingesting aflatoxin, a mold linked to liver cancer. That’s because the peanuts in grinding-machine cases are stored for much longer than those processed for commercial butters, increasing the potential for mold and fungus growth. More, the machines are not tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for aflatoxin contamination.
Buying only prepackaged, commercial peanut butter may put anxious consumers at ease; although virtually all sources contain minute quantities of aflatoxin, it is usually far below the FDA’s recommended safe level. However, added sugars and trans fats, as well as high pesticide levels in nonorganic brands, can make them a less than ideal choice.
Individuals that opt for healthy, organic peanut butter may want to pick up some celery sticks to dip in it. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that eating vegetables such as celery, carrots, parsnips and parsley can decrease the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxin. They also found success with chlorophyllin, abundant in green, leafy vegetables. Consumption of chlorophyllin at each meal resulted in a 55 percent reduction of aflatoxin in urine. It’s believed that chlorophyllin reduces aflatoxin levels by blocking the absorption of the toxin in the gastrointestinal tract.