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Aflatoxin in Peanut Butter – A Carcinogenic Chemical Being Consumed

Mike Barrett
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October 24th, 2011
Updated 11/09/2012 at 12:35 pm
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Aflatoxin in peanut butter is creating even more concern for peanut and peanut butter consumption. Many individuals – especially kids – treat peanut butter and jelly as a staple in their diet, but unfortunately no one told them that peanut butter could actually harness aflatoxin – a cancer-causing chemical almost always found in peanut butter.

Aflatoxin in Peanut Butter – How You Could be Consuming a Carcinogenic Chemical

Aflatoxin is is not naturally found in peanuts, but rather is produced by naturally occurring fungus in soil that peanuts are grown in. Peanuts, unlike many other nuts which are protected by a hard shell, are encased in a soft shell, which makes them vulnerable to contaminates such as fungus. The fungus produces aflatoxin which is easily absorbed by soft-shelled peanuts and if regularly consumed can lead to liver cancer.

It is interesting to note that natural and organic peanut butter often contains higher levels of aflatoxin than commercially processed peanut butter. However, even though organic peanut butter may contain higher levels of aflatoxin, it is still a far better choice than commercially processed peanut butter due to the huge difference in pesticide exposure. While pesticides can cause some damage when sprayed on any crop, peanuts are especially vulnerable compared to other nuts due to their soft shell.

Unfortunately, humans consuming peanuts are not the only ones at risk of exposure to aflatoxin. Pet foods have repeatedly been recalled in the past due to contamination with aflatoxin. In fact, just last December at least 3 pet food recalls were initiated due to aflatoxin levels above the ‘acceptable’ limit. Some of the recalls included:

  • Cargill Animal Nutrition
  • Procter & Gamble’s Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food
  • Advanced Animal Nutrition’s Dog Power

Does Aflatoxin in Peanut Butter Make the Food Bad for You?

As mentioned, organic peanut butter should be your first choice when shopping for peanut butter. Even though there may be aflatoxin in peanut butter, there are methods to reducing the absorption of the cancer-causing chemical. The first thing you can do to prevent this problem is buy Arrowhead Mills organic peanut butter. Arrowhead Mills grows their peanuts in New Mexico, and aflatoxin has had no recognition there due to extremely dry soil. In addition, it carries the organic label so it is free of harmful pesticides.

To reduce aflatoxin exposure and fungal growth, always refrigerate your peanut butter. By placing your peanut butter in the refrigerator, you are stopping any fungus which may be present from multiplying. Chlorophyll has also been shown to reduce the  absorption of aflatoxin which make green vegetables great for decreasing the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxin.

Additional Sources:

Mercola

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail Aflatoxin in Peanut Butter A Carcinogenic Chemical Being Consumed Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

From around the web:

  • AJ

    Peanuts are NOT soft shelled nuts! They are NOT NUTS at all! Peanuts are LEGUMES, in the same family as peas.

  • Judy

    The peanuts used in Arrowhead Mills peanut butter are grown in New Mexico but how are they stored until actually made into peanut butter. I believe the peanuts used in Trader Joe's organic peanut butter were also grown in New Mexico (Sunland another brand) but that peanut butter was recalled due to the way the peanuts were stored creating toxins and making people sick.

  • sjaak

    organic peanut butter is more vulnerable for aflatoxins, its a fact

  • Frank

    is the aflatoxin in the shell and peanut. I eat roasted peanuts shell and all; is that heallthy.
    Frank

  • dee

    peanuts are carefully monitored for aflotoxins … or so I am told!