No one’s ever going to confuse me with a hippie or a vegan or an organic-type person. I don’t shop at Whole Foods because it’s too expensive. I will never join the Park Slope food co-op because I did not go to college and grad school so that I could spend the time I’m not at my fulltime job bagging groceries, stocking shelves and hanging out with people so sanctimonious about their “religion” they make Sarah Palin seem like a heathen.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy fresh, natural food. These things can be tasty and nutritious. But you know what? I’m all for science. And you can suck your sustainable. Because you can’t feed the world on sustainable and, truth be told, I’ll eat half-ripe oranges and supposedly flavorless tomatoes all winter long because I have no fucking interest in a turnip. None. You hear me?
Besides, I pick because you people (and you know who you are) are more sensitive and hyper-defensive than a right-winger trapped at a New Yorker party.
So my purchase Sunday of a jar of all-natural organic peanut butter was not something I’d planned. I’d run a half-marathon on Saturday and was simply too lazy, tired and in pain to walk any farther than the produce store I live above. Now, for whatever reason, the same produce store that flies in fruit and vegetables from all over the globe–just like every other grocery store–gets all uppity with its pre-packaged foods. No Jiff. No Skippy.
So a jar of all-natural peanut butter. I opened it up this morning to find a layer of oil floating on top. I’m not an idiot. I know this is what happens when you grind up peanuts and let it sit without adding a shit-ton of preservatives and other things to the jar. But what to do? Do I pour off the oil as I typically do with a jar of roux or do I stir it in?
I turned to Twitter and Facebook with the simple message: “Hey hippies. Organic natural peanut butter. Am I supposed to stir that layer of oil in or pour it off?”
The answer came back quickly: Stir.
So I did, which led to a sloppy message of liquidy damn peanut butter sloshing out of the jar and running down the sides. I stirred. I scooped from the bottom and stirred some more. But stir as I might, I still had peanut butter soup on my hands. Fine. Such is life. I spread it on the bread. It not only soaked through, but the bread wouldn’t stay put.
Of course, I had to bitch about it on Facebook. Of course, a conversation about peanut butter led to 23 comments. People seem to get all worked about it. And, as I said earlier, people get all religious about their food. They’ve converted to a dry, tasteless existence and, damnit, they want you to convert, too. Indeed, you’re just some knuckle-dragging barbarian if you don’t get the joys and health benefits of all-natural peanut butter.
Well, you can just stuff it, is what I say. I buy peanut butter for a few reasons: it’s cheap, it’s easy, it reminds me of childhood and it’s damn tasty. All-natural peanut butter is none of these things. I have to pay a premium for something that I have to then work over like pizza dough and then, if I want to enjoy it, add salt and sugar. Some folks said to store it upside down and refrigerate it. If I wanted a relationship this high-maintenance, I’d date an 18-year-old with body issues. And the only thing it reminds me of is numerous other bad decisions I’ve made in my life. Sure, some folks will claim some vague health benefits. And if you’ve got diabetes or MSG allergies or salt sensitivity, then you obviously want all-natural. But me? Nuh-uh. It’s not as if that lack of preservatives is going to extend my life any more than ten minutes — and it would be ten minutes on whatever shitty day it is I die, so what’s the damn point is what I say.
So, hippies, you might make some colorful t-shirts and I’m totally on board with free love and such. But you can take your organic, all-natural peanut butter, stuff it in a hemp sack and carry your patchouli-smelling self down to the closest river and jump in!
So, yeah, all-natural peanut butter.