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Comparing Smuckers Smart Balance and Skippy Natural Peanut Butters Natural vs Perservatives

Who doesn’t love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Some people think, fattening, when it comes to peanut butter, but in moderation peanut butter is one of the perfect foods we have for energy and health. In this day of natural vs. preservative filled foods, the big question is which is better? When it comes to peanut butter natural is the way to go.

Several big companies have created their version of the natural peanut butter. Smart Balance, Smuckers, and Skippy are three major brands that have created natural peanut butters, and we are going to put them to the test.

First, let’s define what natural peanut butter actually is. If you walk into a natural food store, you will find a grinder full of peanuts. Natural peanut butter is just that, ground up peanuts. The taste is very pea nutty, and the consistency is a little heavy. But those of you who are skeptical, that is okay because Smuckers, Skippy, and Smart Balance have created natural peanut butters that are comparable in nutrition and tastes a little more American style.

Peanuts and thus natural peanut butter have many nutritional values. Two tablespoons of peanut butter are only 190 calories, 8 grams of protein, and about 18 grams of fat. This sounds like a lot of fat. It is about 25% of your daily fat intake. This is the type of fat you should eat. Then the 75% left for the day could be the meat at dinner, snacks, and some at breakfast. Peanut butter is also a good source of calcium, potassium, and folate; Peanut butter has zero cholesterol.

Comparing Skippy Natural, Smart Balance, and Smuckers Natural this humble writer found based on taste, spread ability, nutrition, and cost. Skippy natural tastes the best. It tastes like Skippy yet it is more natural. It spreads the best, and cost the least, $2.57. But, there is sugar and palm oil in it. Now, the fat content is less but for overall health the palm oil and sugar make it the least natural. The sugar makes you want to keep eating more and more. This is good for our tastes and minds but not for the fat areas on our bodies.

Smart Balance Omega Chunky tastes a little like fish, because of the flax seed oil. Natural wise it is in the right direction, but there is molasses and oils that aren’t necessary. Cost is mid-range $2.95 for 1pound. Smuckers is the favorite, because it tastes good and pea nutty. It is only peanuts and salt. That is all you need, especially if you are adding jelly. The cost is $2.97 for 1 pound. The most expensive, but worth the extra few cents. Your body won’t have to work as hard processing the oil and sugar. The only downside is Smuckers recommends refrigerating after opening. The peanut butter gets very hard and difficult to spread. I just put it in a cool place and leave it out and have never had a problem.

You might think peanut butter is fattening but in the realm of a whole day it is a very good necessary fat. The benefits out weigh the fat content. Remember it is mostly the good fat and not the harmful one. You may not think that the added extra sugar makes that much of a difference, but over time sugar can be very damaging. It cakes onto the arteries and limits blood flow. Too much sugar has been said to lead to premature aging. When it comes to natural vs. sugar and preservatives this writer always chooses natural to live a healthier, longer life.

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Organic Verses Conventional Produce is Organic Food Healthier than Conventional Food Organics

You find yourself standing in the produce section during your weekly grocery shopping trip. All around you there is a fantastic variety of colors, scents, and textures. Though the bins of apples all look relatively the same, the stickers adhered to each show different growers’ names, different places raised, and many are showing a newer label. The USDA organic label. Comparing apples to apples, which is better? Conventionally grown produce or organic?

In order to decide which selection you should make on your next venture to the supermarket, you have to know the differences between conventional and organic produce. What makes produce organic?

For produce to be labeled with the USDA’s certified organic seal, it must have been grown on a farm that meets strict standards that meet both federal and state guidelines. Organic farms work diligently to keep water and soil in its most natural state by avoiding chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. Plants are fertilized with all natural manure and pests are kept at bay with natural trapping methods. Insects, like spiders, are commonly used in some crops to keep devastating pests under control.

It is a three year process for a farm to be considered certifiably organic by the USDA. Only after three full years of practicing organic methods can the farm earn the USDA’s certified organic seal. This seal is what all shoppers looking for true organic produce should search for.

Conventionally grown produce also must meet strict standards to be considered healthy for consumption. All chemicals used on plants must meet the set safety guidelines. Many conventional farmers reassure consumers that chemicals are a necessary part of having healthy and bountiful crops, and that they are safer than ever before.

Many farmers that choose to grow foods by conventional methods point out that due to the organic crops’ all natural fertilizers, they can put consumers at an increased risk of certain dangers. E. coli outbreaks from produce like spinach and other organically grown produce have shed a bit of light on the myth that organic food is always the safer choice.

There is no proven difference in the nutritional value of either conventional or organic produce. Though the growing methods can be vastly different, the end result of both farming methods is healthy fruits and vegetables. Calories, fat, vitamins, and minerals do not seem to be affected by either method of growing.

Choosing which type of produce is best for your family can be tricky, even after you know the facts. Many consumers look simply at costs. Organic food is almost always more expensive than conventional due to the farming methods involved and lesser crop yield. However, as more people demand organic food, the prices will begin to look much less intimidating. Until prices are evenly matched, many will choose conventional. Others choose conventional because they fear bacterial outbreaks from organic foods and take comfort in the chemicals used on conventional farms. People should take note that no farm is totally safe from bacterial outbreaks.

Some people choose to buy organic for environmental reasons. Due to the natural processes used to grow each crop, organic farming is known to be healthier for the soil and water supply in the surrounding area. Many believe that consumption of chemicals, over a period of time, can lead to many health problems. From headaches to cancer, the claims are endless.

Most people tend to fit in the middle of the produce debate. Many choose to buy organic produce when they can afford to, and conventional when the purse strings are a bit tight. They may choose to buy organic apples due to eating the peel of the fruit, but stick with conventional oranges. If they will be peeling the outer section off, they see little reason to spend more for chemical free.

Some have found that they enjoy the taste of organic or conventional better, and so stick with their favorite for this reason. Most people cannot detect a taste difference in produce, whether fresh, canned, or frozen, due to the way it is grown, but a small percentage swear one is better than the other.

Weighing the pros and cons of organic and conventional produce can be quite tricky. The more you research each method of farming and the end resulting products, the easier it will be to make the right decision for you and your family.

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