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7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Peanut Butter

Here are seven facts about peanut butter to help explain why we’re so nuts about these crushed pea...err...legumes?

To most people outside the U.S., peanut butter is a bit like how we perceive the popular yeast extract-based spreads, Marmite and Vegemite. How could anyone possibly eat that much of such a strong spread at any meal? Why, with finesse and a spoon, of course.

Here are seven more facts about peanut butter to help explain why we’re so nuts about these crushed pea…err…legumes?

1. Peanut Butter Contains 0% Nuts

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These are 'gumes, yo! Photo: Dean Hochman / Flickr

Peanuts belong to the legume family, not nuts. Also known as groundnuts, they bloom rather unusually for either group, flowering above ground while the peanuts themselves are essentially underground seeds.

2. At least 90% of Peanut Butter Needs To Consist Of Peanuts

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What the heck is rapeseed and what is it doing in my peanut butter?! Photo: Mark Turnauckas / Flickr

Shocking, right? Any less and the substance cannot legally be called “peanut butter.” If you’re a DIYer with a food processor, however, you can make peanut butter using only peanuts.

3. According To Shoppers, Creamy Is Preferred

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Because duh. Photo: robinmcnicoll / Flickr

The National Peanut Board reports that 60% of shoppers prefer creamy peanut butter. You know, normal people.

4. The FDA Allows One Pound Of Peanut Butter To Contain A Maximum Of 150 Insect Fragments And Five Rodent Hairs

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Step. Away. From the peanut butter. Photo: Carolyn Coles / Flickr

It’s always been touted as an excellent source of protein. Just not the source you were assuming. And what defines “fragment?” That DIY peanut butter is starting to sound pretty good, isn’t it?

5. The U.S. Spends $800 Million On Peanut Butter Each Year

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Uh, yeah, and for good reason. Photo: Stephanie Lenz / Flickr

The U.S. produces and consumes the most peanut butter in the world, with each American packing away six to seven pounds of peanut butter annually. That much spread could fill every nook and cranny in the Grand Canyon — and then some. Why hasn’t that been done yet?

6. Peanut Butter Helps Get Gum Out Of Your Hair

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We’ve all been there, buddy. Photo: The Mighty Tim Inconnu / Flickr

This old wives tale is actually true. The oils in peanut butter gently help to separate the gum from hair. Hopefully, this isn’t a major problem in your day-to-day life.

7. Sliced Bread Made Peanut Butter’s Popularity Possible

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So it’s safe to say it’s the best thing to happen since… sliced bread? Photo: Various Brennemans / Flickr

The 1928 invention of sliced bread has never been anything to sneeze at (thanks, Otto Frederick Rohwedder). The ready-to-use slices made it safe for kids to create their own sandwiches without parental supervision. But who doesn’t love knife-wielding youths?