Every Day is a Food Day

Peanut Butter: Spread it on Thicc

January 12, 2021 Van Valin Productions & YumDay Season 1 Episode 8
Every Day is a Food Day
Peanut Butter: Spread it on Thicc
Chapters
Every Day is a Food Day
Peanut Butter: Spread it on Thicc
Jan 12, 2021 Season 1 Episode 8
Van Valin Productions & YumDay

This fresh, roasted episode is all about Peanut Butter. In our Deep Dish segment, Anna tells us the story of the 12-year long Peanut Butter Wars and the AMAZING woman at the center of the fray: Ruth Desmond, aka the Peanut Butter Grandma, a 1950s homemaker and consumer champion whose tireless advocacy still benefits us today. With her signature mink coat and sassy truth bombs, Ruth took on the peanut industry to demand transparency about what was really in the jars they were labeling  “peanut butter” - and won. But first, Lia tells us about celebrating peanuts (and their lovers??) with the star-studded Adult Peanut Butter Lover’s Club, the remarkable life and many accomplishments of the legendary George Washington Carver, and the woman we have to thank for inventing the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.

Connect with us at @FoodDayPod on Instagram & Twitter,  join our Facebook Group,  and check out our webpage. View the transcript of this episode here.

More to explore from the episode:
Get more details on Ruth Desmond & the Peanut Butter Trials on The Uncertain Hour.
Hear President John F Kennedy's speech on consumer rights

Show Notes Transcript

This fresh, roasted episode is all about Peanut Butter. In our Deep Dish segment, Anna tells us the story of the 12-year long Peanut Butter Wars and the AMAZING woman at the center of the fray: Ruth Desmond, aka the Peanut Butter Grandma, a 1950s homemaker and consumer champion whose tireless advocacy still benefits us today. With her signature mink coat and sassy truth bombs, Ruth took on the peanut industry to demand transparency about what was really in the jars they were labeling  “peanut butter” - and won. But first, Lia tells us about celebrating peanuts (and their lovers??) with the star-studded Adult Peanut Butter Lover’s Club, the remarkable life and many accomplishments of the legendary George Washington Carver, and the woman we have to thank for inventing the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.

Connect with us at @FoodDayPod on Instagram & Twitter,  join our Facebook Group,  and check out our webpage. View the transcript of this episode here.

More to explore from the episode:
Get more details on Ruth Desmond & the Peanut Butter Trials on The Uncertain Hour.
Hear President John F Kennedy's speech on consumer rights

ANNA 0:00:00 
Hi Listeners! It’s Anna and I want to tell you about my new podcast, The More You Scroll - a show about trying to stay sane on the internet. From family reunions to doctors appointments, we rely on the internet for more and more things every day - so how do we have a good relationship with it? On The More You Scroll my co-host Colin and I will tackle everyday elements of the internet and their gnarliest challenges - like Zoom Fatigue, Unfollowing Guilt, and Compulsive News Checking (guilty). We’ll give you strategies for how to handle the bad and harness the good of the world wide web so you can take control of your online life. Listen and subscribe to The More You Scroll right now wherever you get your podcasts. Alright, let’s start the show.

ANNA 0:00:42  
Hi Everyone! From YumDay and Van Valin Productions, this is “Every Day is a Food Day” 

ANNA 0:01:05 
I’m your host, Anna Van Valin. 

LIA 0:01:06 
And I’m your other host, Lia Ballentine. On “Every Day is a Food Day,” we celebrate food stories, from our calendars to our kitchens.

ANNA 0:01:14 
Food Stories are people stories, and in today’s stories we’re going to spread it on thick.

LIA 0:01:19 
Because in this episode, we’re talking about peanut butter. 

ANNA 0:1:23 
In the Deep Dish, I’m going to tell you about the AMAZING woman known as the Peanut Butter Grandma, a 1950’s homemaker and consumer champion who took on the peanut industry in the 12 year long Peanut Butter Wars.

LIA 0:01:34 
But first, I’m going to tell you about celebrating all things peanut with the star-studded Adult Peanut Butter Lover’s Club, the revolutionary George Washington Carver, and the woman we have to thank for inventing the Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

ANNA 0:01:50
Help us get the word out about the show by sharing it with anyone who loves food, podcasts - or both! To help other listeners find it, leave a rating and review. Be sure to subscribe and connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @FoodDayPod and join our Facebook group. 

LIA 0:02:04
And for more info and resources, check out our show notes and visit us at yumday.co/podcast.

ANNA 0:02:26 
Happy New Year, Lia.

LIA 0:02:27 
Happy New Year! It's 2021.

ANNA 0:02:30 
2021, we assume, we assume. We're taping this in December, so by the time you hear this, you're in 2021 and we're so jealous.

LIA 0:02:39  
Yeah, 'cause I'm sure everything is totally changed.

ANNA 0:02:43 
Everything's fixed. What's it like, guys?

LIA 0:02:46 
It's all good.

ANNA 0:02:47 
Do we finally have flying cars?

LIA 0:02:51 
We've got flying cars, you can teleport to places.

ANNA 0:02:54
Yeah, you can swallow a pill and have all the knowledge of the world. It'd be great. What's your prediction? Do you think Santa made the rounds?

LIA 0:03:04
I don't know.

ANNA 0:03:06  
Or do you think he self-quarantined...

LIA 0:03:07 
Yeah, I was gonna say, how does he do that? Could you kind of do like contact list drop off just... This time Santa is just leaving everything at the front door and ringing the doorbell and going away.

ANNA 0:03:21  
Leave your flue open 'cause he's just gonna drop it... Drop it down the chimney. He's not gonna come all the way in. Okay, it' isn’t sanitary.

LIA 0:03:27 
He probably actually was like, This is great, I'm doing is just dropping the s*** in the chimney.

ANNA 0:03:33 
But then he doesn’t get cookies. I wonder if he got first dibs on the vaccine, he's definitely in some high-risk groups. He is his age, his weight.

LIA 0:03:46 
He is a little older.

ANNA 0:03:48 
He always got that rosy nose, whatever that means. A rosy nose syndrome.

LIA 0:03:52 
A belly that's like a bowl of jelly.

ANNA 0:03:55 
That can't be good, right? It's not a good sign. Today we're gonna get smooth and/Or crunchy, depending on your preference. Talking about peanut butter. So how do you rock peanut butter? You Smooth? You crunchy, natural? 

LIA 0:04:10 
I do like a smooth peanut butter when I'm making a PB and J. I didn't really eat too many peanut butter sandwiches though, growing up, it was still kind of like a new thing to me, I'm actually really getting into them these days. 

ANNA 0:04:25 
Just 30 years later. 

LIA 0:04:26 
I think I've eaten more, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 2020 than in my entire life.

ANNA 0:04:32 
Peanut butter toast has been my go-to choice of snack for a long, long time.

LIA 0:04:38 
Oh, that sounds nice. Like toasty bread, so it's warm when you put the peanut butter on it.

ANNA 0:04:44
Yeah, it gets a little melty. I love peanut butter 'cause it's like easy protein. You can make anything a meal. 

LIA 0:04:53
You can!

ANNA 0:04:54  
Peanut butter on apples, peanut butter on toast, peanut butter on whatever. And now it's a well balanced meal 'cause it's got some protein in it and good fats, depending on the peanut butter you're eating.

LIA 0:05:00 
The type you get... That's true. I think what it's interesting is growing up in our Filipino family, we used peanut butter as like a cooking ingredient, there's this one dish that I really love. It's called the curac currai, and it's like a peanut-based oxtail stew. 

ANNA 0:05:19 
Oh! 

LIA 0:05:20 
It's delicious. And so my mom would use peanut butter, peanut butter in it and ground peanuts, and I think what's so interesting about peanuts and peanut butter is It's like sweet and savory at the same time.

ANNA 0:05:33 
Yeah, totally. 

LIA 0:05:33  
And so it's like all of those things. And then to put that in this stew, with a really good tender piece of oxtail and other vegetables, it was just delicious. So that's really what my mom would buy peanut butter to use in stews and main dishes.

ANNA 0:05:49 
That's really interesting. I mean, that makes sense, 'cause there's peanut butter sauce and dressing for a lot of Asian food. I love a peanut sauce in like a papaya salad. 

LIA 0:05:58
Delicious. 

ANNA 0:05:59 
I use peanut butter to justify eating things that are not healthy because then I'm like, It's got peanut butter, it's protein, I can have the Snickers bar, it's got peanuts in it. 

LIA 0:06:10 
Yeah! 

ANNA 0:06:11 
It's protein. No, we had a lot, a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, when I was a kid, that was definitely a packed lunch mainstay. I never got the lunchables... We never got the capri suns, my parents were like hand-made sandwiches, little plastic baggies, put the chips in the zip lock bag, you did not get bags of chips. 

LIA 0:06:28
Same! 

ANNA 0:06:29
My dad be like, Nope, you're paying for the packaging, it's the same thing. And now I'm like, he wanted to get up at 6:30 every morning and like, put pretzels in a baggie when he can just be like “grab a bag of pretzels on your way out!” 

LIA 0:06:47
Kids these days though, they've got... I think the lunchables are getting fancier. Well, and then when it comes to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches... Have you seen those uncrustables? 

ANNA 0:06:56 
Yes.

LIA 0:06:57 
Yeah. It's just the white bread with the peanut butter and jelly inside, and then it's like crisped together, and no crust.

ANNA 0:07:04
Kids today, and back in my day, you had to eat the crust.

LIA 0:07:09
You had to eat the crust.

ANNA 0:07:11 
You could pull the crust off and not eat it, and then you had to hide it from your parents because your parents would be like... That's where the vitamins are, and then you wouldn't realize that they were lying to you to you until you were like 25.

LIA 0:07:20
I have to eat the crust or else I'm missing all the nutrients.

ANNA 0:07:25
That's why the vitamins are…

ANNA 0:07:30 
Alright, today we're talking about peanut butter, peanut butter holidays, peanut butter celebrations. So what do we got, Lia?

LIA 0:07:38 
You want me to list them out for you. There is a ton.

ANNA 0:07:39 
I want to hear them, take a deep breath.

LIA 0:07:43 
Okay. We have national peanut butter day, January 24th, peanut brittle day, January 26, peanut butter lover's day, March 1st, peanut month, which is in March, peanut cluster day, March 8th, peanut lovers day, not peanut butter, peanut lovers day on March 15th, peanut butter and jelly day. April 2, peanut butter cookie day, June 12, ants on a log day. Second, Tuesday of September is a floating holiday. You've got peanut day, September 13th, the National peanut Festival is held in the fall and Alabama, I'll talk about that. Peanut butter lovers month in November, peanut butter fudge day, November 20th and fluffernutter day. October 8. Tons of peanut butter celebrations.

ANNA 0:08:26  
We better get started. That there's two full months of the year... 

LIA 0:08:32 
Yeah.

ANNA 0:08:33  
There's national peanut month, there's national peanut butter lovers month.

LIA 0:08:38
So there's the month to celebrate the peanut... The month to celebrate yourself from being a peanut butter lover.

ANNA 0:08:46 
Right. Those lover days and months are really interesting to me, 'cause are you celebrating the food or are you celebrating yourself in each other, is it like a patting yourself on the back for loving that thing?

LIA 0:08:59 
I think that, yeah, the latter.

ANNA 0:09:01 
Why not... I think we should all invent holidays to pat ourselves on the back. Alright, let's start from the top.

LIA 0:09:07
Yeah, National peanut butter day, January 24th. But then we get into one of the first lovers days on the calendar, we have national peanut butter lover's day on March 1st, and this one does have an origin story, which is kind of funny, and a little cute. National peanut butter lover's day, March 1st, was started in 1990 to celebrate the anniversary of peanut butter's commercial debut in the United States. So this was promoted by the adult peanut butter lover's Fan Club, which was a real thing that was established in 1986 by the peanut Advisory Board.

ANNA 0:09:43 
A peanut butter lovers fan club. Okay, so back to our previous point, is it a fan club of peanut butter, or is it a fan club devoted to the people who love peanut butter?

LIA 0:09:54 
It's a little bit of both. They're all about the peanut butter, loving the peanut butter loving the peanut butter brands, but the peanut butter lover's Fan Club has a bunch of celebrities in it.

ANNA 0:10:00 
Wow. 

LIA 0:10:01
So in a sense, they are kind of like a fan club for the celebrities and popular people who love peanut butter.

ANNA 0:10:06 
Okay, tell me more.

LIA 0:10:09 
So the peanut adult peanut butter lover fanclub, I could not find if there was a kid peanut butter lovers fan club.

ANNA 0:10:15 
But the first time I heard that, I was like, I didn't hear it as peanut butter lovers who are adults, I heard it as like, there's something adult going on to the expression of the peanut butter love, this is the R-rated peanut butter fan club. 

LIA 0:10:33 
But when they started the fan club in that first year in 1986, they had more than 10000 members that were like, we love peanut butter sign me up, I wanna be part of this fan club, and so I mentioned before there are celebrities in the fan club.

ANNA 0:10:46 
Who are some of the celebrities?

LIA 0:10:48  
Well you had Bill Clinton, a lover, celebrity, Jack Nicholson, Julia Child, makes sense. 

ANNA 0:10:56 
Nice. 

LIA 0:10:58 
A food person, Tom Selleck, Kim Basinger. She brought some of that like...

ANNA 0:11:03 
What? Sass. 

LIA 0:11:05 
Yeah, this is a good peanut butter lovers fan club, Barbara Walters, Barbara Bush, Billy Joel, Julia Roberts, Bill Cosby…

ANNA 0:11:13 
Yada, yada, yada 

LIA 0:11:16 
Michael J, Fox, Madonna, Larry King, and Cher. 

ANNA 0:11:19 
So all these people brought together by peanuts.

LIA 0:11:23 
They got that peanut butter loving going on.

ANNA 0:11:26 
Deep down inside. They're all just peanut butter lovers.

LIA 0:11:30 
They are. So yeah, you can celebrate those folks, your love for peanut butter, yourself on national peanut butter lover's day on March 1st was coming up, guys. So March is like peanut month, and that actually was a thing that started in 1941 by the peanut board. In 1941, they had national peanut Week, and by the mid-1970s, it just became like a month-long celebration that is also backed by the National peanut board, National peanut board is like all over these days. 

ANNA 0:11:57 
Yeah, also like National Food boards, we're learning, are incredibly powerful. 

LIA 0:12:01 
They are... 

ANNA 0:12:03 
You got the pork board. Got the peanut board.

LIA 0:12:06 
Maple syrup producers.

ANNA 0:12:08 
The maple syrup Cartel.

LIA 0:12:10
Yeah, don't mess with these food boards. The other peanut celebration that I really like, and I think it's pretty fascinating, is the National peanut festival and it's held in the small town in Alabama because that place is known as The peanut capital of the world, so the majority of all the peanuts grown in the US are within a 100 mile radius of this town called Dothan. 

ANNA 0:12:32 
Oh wow. 

LIA 0:12:34 
So the National peanut festival dates back to November 10th, 1938, and it started out as a three-day event with parents, you always gotta have your pageants... I'm sure there was like a peanut Queen there. They had parades, they did plays, they had a grand ball, and at the very first national peanut festival, their special guest of honor and keynote speaker was Dr. George Washington Carver.

ANNA 0:12:59 
Remind me the history of George Washington Carver.

LIA 0:13:03
Oh yes, I think he's just such a fascinating and incredible figure in history, he was born an African-American slave around 1864, we think we don't really know those dates, and he was in Missouri, and when he was a baby, he had been kidnapped along with some of his siblings and his mother and was sold in Kentucky.

ANNA 0:13:21 
Wow. 

LIA 0:13:22  
But somehow how his owner Moses Carver was able to locate him and he brought him back to Missouri. And so after the civil war, when slavery was outlawed in Missouri, Moses Carver and his wife Susan decided to keep George and his brother that was there and raised them. 

ANNA 0:13:38 
Oh, wow. 

LIA 0:13:39
And because schools would not accept black students, Susan Carver decided to homeschool the boys, teaching them to read and write and just gave them an education. So eventually, he was able to leave home and go to a school for Black children, and eventually went from school to school and ended up getting his high school diploma from a small school in Kansas when he graduated, he had been accepted to a college in Kansas, but when the administrators found out about his race, he was denied. 

ANNA 0:14:09  
Oh, man. 

LIA 0:14:10
But George washing Carver was just always in search of knowledge, had a passion for science, and so he did his own biology and geology research on a claim that he homesteaded himself, so he just spent his time trying to learn about the Earth and farming in agriculture and he was also interested in arts at the same time, so at some point, he was able to start studying art and music at college called Simpson College in Iowa in 1890, and it was there where he started to specialize in painting and illustrating botanical samples.

ANNA 0:14:41 
Oh, cool.

LIA 0:14:43  
Yeah, he did really interesting nature drawings, and then just paying attention to the things that he was growing and then illustrating them.

ANNA 0:14:50 
Yeah, I remember in science classes having to color in diagrams of biological samples, whether it was whether it's plants or animals or things like that to identify the different parts. It's hard.

LIA 0:15:00 
Oh yeah, it was really hard. Well, a teacher totally recognized this talent in this passion, and ended up encouraging him to go study botany at Iowa State where he became the first black student, he was also the first black student to earn a Bachelor of Science when he finished. he ended up pursuing his masters in plant pathology, which pretty much launched his career as a researcher, and then he became a teacher in 1896. Booker T. Washington founded Testikie institute, hired George Washington Carver to run the Agricultural Department there. 

ANNA 0:15:34 
Amazing. 

LIA 0:15:35 
Yeah, it was during that time like... You know, not only was he a great teacher, an expert soil scientist, he was also starting to reach out to the community as well and talking to farmers to help them figure out how to grow crops, like maximize what the land that they had to really take advantage of the soil and to use it for the right things. So one of the big things that he explored and pushed out there was this approach for this method of crop rotation.

ANNA 0:16:03 
Right, so that you're not growing the same thing over and over again in soil and just totally leaching whatever nutrients that crop needs from that soil. You grow something else next season and it evens it out, so you keep growing things. 

LIA 0:16:16 
Exactly. 

ANNA 0:16:17 
That I'm not an agricultural person... But that was my understanding of a crop.

LIA 0:16:22 
That was really great. Exactly though. That's it. And it's part of this kind of outreach and education, something cool... He invented what's called The Jesup wagon, which was like his own mobile classroom, like a horse-drawn classroom that he would use to go around town and demonstrate soil chemistry to people, kind of cool... So he brought the learning to other folks.

ANNA 0:16:42 
I can just see him... He's like the horse is pulling him along, all the beakers are shaking, like Slow down Nellie. I'm sure he had a great system and it worked perfectly.

LIA 0:16:52 
He probably did, but I think most of us know him because of his big success with peanuts. So apparently what happened was the crop rotation technique was so successful that farmers ended up having a surplus of crops you know, they weren't expecting such a wonderful outcome.

ANNA 0:17:08
Right. 

LIA 0:17:10  
And one of the crops that they ended up having likely too many of was the peanut, so he needed to find different ways to start using peanuts, 'cause he's like, Well, wow. We have so many now. The crop rotation was a hit, yeah.

ANNA 0:17:25  
Dr. Carver, really worked. So what do I do with all those peanuts... I got all these peanuts.

LIA 0:17:34 
They had to figure out what to do with all the extra peanuts, and he ended up developing more than 300 different types of products from peanuts, that was food industrial products. Commercial products. So how do you use peanuts to create cosmetics? Soaps, wood stains. He also experimented with peanut-based medicines, some of them worked really well. 

ANNA 0:17:58 
Right. 

LIA 0:17:59 
Some not so much, but he had basically created all of these new approaches and new ideas for what we could do with peanuts, so then he started to become really sought after, he ended up advising President Theadore Roosevelt, and he even went over to India to talk to Mahatma Gandhi about agriculture. 

ANNA 0:18:17 
Oh, my god. 

LIA 0:18:20
And then in 1916, he became a member of the British Royal Society of arts. For all of his work, he just did such amazing things, I mean, beyond creating all of these products from peanuts, but just overall, the contributions to agriculture, to science and obviously to community.

ANNA 0:18:36  
Yeah, I was gonna say to helping communities to be self sustaining and take the most advantage of the resources that they were given. You know, like he had so much trouble finding schools that would take him, and so for him to bring this knowledge of his back to the community that probably also wouldn't have the kind of access that they would need is awesome. That's so cool. I love this because you think George Washington Carver, you think peanut butter, the end. But there's so much more to the story. There's so many more contributions... 

LIA 0:19:06 
Exactly. 

ANNA 0:19:07 
Okay, cool. So he did not invent peanut butter, right. Why do we think that he did... Is that a rumor that got spread around 1895. And it just stuck.

LIA 0:19:17  
I think because of all of the other things that he created using peanuts people, we've just assumed like, Oh, so he invented peanut butter. Right.

ANNA 0:19:25 
That's probably the most popular use of peanut butter. He is clearly the peanut guy.

LIA 0:19:29 
Yeah, 100%. The peanut guy, but he's not the peanut butter guy.

ANNA 0:19:38 
 Is there a peanut butter guy/ or gal?

LIA 0:19:40 
/There are some peanut butter guys, and they're mostly known for, I guess, getting the patents to the process for making peanut butter. But historians trace back peanut butter to Ancient Incas and Aztecs who would roast peanuts and then grind them into a paste, so...

ANNA 0:20:00  
Right, I was gonna say, this seems like one of those things that we attribute to Europeans or European descended communities that they quote invented it when it's not that complicated of food. I feel like the natives probably figured this out like centuries earlier, so.

LIA 0:20:16
Ancient peoples had already been making peanut paste and peanut butter.

ANNA 0:20:20  
For a long time. Maybe these “peanut butter guys” just figured out the jar or not. Screw top lids. They are like giant stelvins. 

LIA 0:20:30 
Stelvins! 

ANNA 0:20:31 
That's a callback.

LIA 0:20:34 
You gotta listen to the wine episode folks. 

ANNA 0:20:35 
Guys. Wine episode. 

LIA 0:20:36 
But, the first known patent for the modern peanut paste was given to a Canadian person named Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1884, and he had created a way to mill the roasted peanuts in between a couple of hot services. So then in the late 1890s, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Kellogg cereal, patented the process for making peanut butter from raw peanuts, which he marketed as a protein substitute for patients who couldn't eat solid foods. And then in 1922, a chemist named Joseph Rosefield created a process that used the hydrogenated oil to make smooth peanut butter. He ended up licensing his special peanut butter to a company that made Peter Pan. But then in 1932, he made his own peanut butter company and called it Skippy. He's like, Wait, this is too good. I'm gonna do this myself.

ANNA 0:21:25  
I love it. Seize the means of production, Dr. Rosefield! Don’t just license your IP.

LIA 0:21:32
Yeah, it's like, I wanna be the producer and the distributor. 

ANNA 0:21:35  
Brilliant. 

LIA 0:21:36 
So that’s a quick history of peanut butter. But Anna I know you’re going to touch on things like Hydrogenated oil in the deep dish, right? 

ANNA 0:21:47 
Yeah in the Deep Dish we’re going to talk about non-peanut ingredients they put in PB to make it spreadable, like hydrogenated oil. But you know what else hydrogenated oil does? 

LIA 0:22:01 
No...What?

ANNA 0:22:03  
Well, It protects against….RANCIDIFICATION! 

LIA 0:22:10
Yes! Yes...Our favorite word!

ANNA 0:22:14  
Rancidification!! <DJ Horn FX> 

LIA 0:22:18 
But, I mean, Let's talk about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 'cause that's where it's at.

ANNA 0:22:24 
Yeah, that's where it's at. 

LIA 0:22:26 
Yeah, PB&J. So PB and J was invented by a woman named Julia Davis Chandler, who was a home commas and writer, so she used to contribute articles to the Boston cooking school magazine of culinary science and domestic economics. You could actually look up a ton of these articles and the old volumes of the magazine and... They're so exciting. She goes into food history and food culture and food etiquette, she's written so much, but she is known for inventing the PB and J because she did write this article in the magazine about peanut butter, the use of peanut butter, the act of respecting the Peanut... Because she saw it as the next valuable crop of the United States...

ANNA 0:23:06 
A visionary.

LIA 0:23:08 
Yes. So in 1901, she published this article that talked about how to use peanut butter in a sandwich form, so peanut butter was kind of expensive at the time, and it was a fancy, fancy food, so it would be served at nice parties and High Tea... Along with your Pimento sandwiches and watercress sandwiches, but Julia Davis Chandler had this idea that she presented in this cooking magazine that, Hey, why don't you try making little sandwiches or quote bread fingers, layering bread with a filling of peanut paste, and then putting in another layer of a jelly crab apple, any sort of combination, and she said the combo was delicious, so far as I know at original, and it was. She was the first recorded person who had written about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

ANNA 0:23:58 
That's awesome. Thank you. Julia Davis Chandler. Hats off.

LIA 0:24:04 
She also had recipes for peanut soup and then making pralines and other delicious peanut-based recipes, but the sandwich, super delicious. And obviously, we've taken that, right, that sandwich and have gone really far with what we would peanut butter.

ANNA 0:24:19 
She wrote about it in 1901, and we're still eating it. We've moved on from the crabapple jelly.

LIA 0:24:26 
Now we have squeezable jelly.

ANNA 0:24:29 
Squeezable jelly. I think you can get a tube that squeezes out peanut butter and jelly together...

LIA 0:24:35
You're right, I think I have seen that. I've seen the Smuckers jars with both.

ANNA 0:24:40 
I bet it’s so good.

LIA 0:24:43 
It’s gotta be delicious. 

ANNA 0:24:46 
Coming up in the Deep Dish, I’m going to tell you about the legendary consumer advocate Ruth Desmond, AKA the “Peanut Butter Grandma” who took on the peanut butter industry in a 12 year long battle. All to answer the Foodlosophical question: when does peanut butter stop being peanut butter?

ANNA 0:25:15 
So have you ever seen Lia on a bottle of juice, orange juice, cranberry juice where it says Contains 5% fruit juice.

LIA 0:25:24 
Yes.

ANNA 0:25:25 
So that's Ruth. Have you ever seen on a hot dog where it's labeled all beef?

LIA 0:25:32 
Yeah / Ruth.

ANNA 0:25:33 
Okay, that's Ruth. /And have you ever seen a jar of a peanut butter-like thing, but it's labeled peanut spread?

LIA 0:25:43 
Peanut spread as opposed to peanut butter?

ANNA 0:25:46 
Yep, that's Ruth. So she's like the Erin Brockovich of food labels basically. She's amazing. Actually, I really got into learning about what the FDA does and all the forces at work here, and how one person, one self-proclaimed housewife Grandma, could make such a difference and things that are on every product we look at, so formal Food and Drug regulation in the United States started with President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 under the Pure Food and Drug Act, in 1927, there was formed a regulatory body to actually enforce those rules, and that was the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, but it wasn't very strong, it's... Jurisdiction wasn't clearly defined. It didn't have a lot of power. And so in the 1930s, it led through a bunch of crazy a** products that no one should have had, like say a mascara that was turning people blind, or beverages that turned out to be radioactive.

LIA 0:26:51  
What? 

ANNA 0:26:52  
And a whole bunch of other drugs and treatments for diseases that were either worthless or dangerous...

LIA 0:26:58
Oh my gosh.

ANNA 0:26:59  
I mean, you can at least put on the mascara may cause blindness, at least let us know, but maybe it really lifts and separates, I don't know.

LIA 0:27:10 
I can't see but my eyes are very pretty.

ANNA 0:27:13
My eyes look amazing. Whatever, we are in audio now. So then in 1938, Franklin Delanor Roosevelt signed into law the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, which is really, really important for the story, because it granted the FDA the power to create and enforce identity standards and regulatory recipes, so a standard of identity is a legal definition of a food or product. So basically, if you want to call your product a thing, it has to meet these standards for that thing. Okay, during WW1 the industrialization of food really really ramped up, which was a big shift from growing and producing your own foods to buying it in a store, and also we know that during World War II, we did a lot of Chemistry experiments... 

LIA 0:28:05  
Yes.

ANNA 0:28:06  
Yes. So there were all kinds of new chemicals, additives, things invented, and the industrialization of food was a major shift in consumption because it meant consumers were moving further and further away from their food sources, which makes it harder and harder to know how their food is made, and handle and what's in it. Right, so if you have your own cow, you know where your milk came from, up, if you grew your own produce, you know what fertilizers or pesticides you used, and if you grind your own peanuts, you know what's in your peanut butter, but if you buy food in a store, you're relying on the labels to give you all of that information that you don't have, 'cause you didn't make the food, which means you are relying on the food companies that are selling you these products to tell you the truth. So the FDA's job is to make sure they are telling you the truth. Got it. 

LIA 0:29:05 
Yeah. 

ANNA 0:29:06 
Alright, in comes peanut butter. Peanut butter is a big deal as you talked about... Right, it became more and more common. It was a source of protein for people who were poor, it was associated with children. And brown bag lunches, school lunch programs given to the elderly people who have trouble chewing, so it became very popular, but it was associated with these sort of vulnerable populations. 

LIA 0:29:34
Yeah. 

ANNA 0:29:36 
Right. So Natural Peanut Butter is just peanuts..Lia, what happens when you have a jar of natural peanut butter and you let it sit there...

LIA 0:29:46 
Oh man, the next time you pick it up, if it's been a while, everything just separates, right, you get that oil all up at the top, all the good stuff is down there.

ANNA 0:29:56 
Yeah, you're gonna get out there, all your tools to mix it up, try to get to the bottom, you got all these, the little dry chunks. Sticks to your mouth.

LIA 0:30:05 
You gotta grab that butter knife and then just stir it around.

ANNA 0:30:08 
So as you mentioned, along comes a new peanut butter brand called Skippy, and they specifically wanted to find ways to deal with this oil separation and spreadability issues. 

LIA 0:30:19 
Yeah.

ANNA 0:30:20 
So they started using partially hydrogenated peanut oil, so that basically means they take the peanut oil out, they pump it full of hydrogen, and that keeps it from becoming liquid, it stays in a semi-solid form, so it'll stay mixed in with the peanuts. Rather than separating, right? Boom, you got spreadable peanut butter, and it was a huge success. It was wildly popular, it became the number one selling brand, but using the partially hydrogenated peanut oil left the door ajar.

LIA 0:30:59
Yeah, so good, so good.

ANNA 0:31:01  
Two companies using alteration to make their peanut butter, in other words, companies started adding more and more stuff that was not peanuts to peanut butter. So, our saga begins in 1958 with a company called Jiff.

LIA 0:31:18 
Jiff!

ANNA 0:31:19 
A subsidiary of Procter and Gamble, which had the most spreadable peanut butter and it became the number one peanut butter in the country. The FDA starts receiving complaints from citizens, from other people in the peanut butter industry, from consumers saying, yeah, whatever Jiff is selling it ain't peanut butter.

LIA 0:31:41 
So, it was a little suspicious that this spread on a little too easily...

ANNA 0:31:45 
Yeah, people were calling the anonymous tip line, I'm assuming from a phone booth in the rain, saying Those Jiff guys, they're full of nonsense. They're pulling the wool out of your eyes, it ain't peanut butter you gotta get to the bottom of this Jack, I'm assuming.

LIA 0:31:59 
I like that. 

ANNA 0:32:02  
So peanut butter had already been on the FDA's radar for a long time, because as early as 1940 companies were asking if they could put things like glycerin and emulsifiers and fake coloring and s*** into peanut butter... And the FDA was like, No, man, it's peanuts. So the FDA investigated Jiff. They inspected the factories and they got a hold of the recipe, and they found out that Jiff peanut butter contained only 75% peanuts. 25% wasn't peanuts.

LIA 0:32:32 
What? What was the rest of it?

ANNA 0:32:40  
Crisco. 

LIA 0:32:43 
 EEW! That’s Gross.

ANNA 0:32:44 
25% of the damn jar was Crisco. But it didn't say Crisco on the label. It just said hydrogenated oil. So the FDA was like, “dude, Procter and Gamble. You're Jiff “peanut butter.” It's only 75% peanuts, you don't even list Crisco on the label. what the f*** man?”

LIA 0:33:06 
Right.

ANNA 0:33:07 
Procter and Gamble was like, Look, man, people want spreadable peanut butter butter, this is innovation. And the FDA was like, Okay, but you have to tell people, there's Crisco in it. And the Proctor and Gamble was all like, No way, if people know there's Crisco in it, nobody's gonna buy it. So the FDA was like, Okay, fine, you just put the ingredients of your hydrogenated oil on the label, and Procter and Gamble was like, that is even worse because our hydrogenated oil doesn't come from peanuts, we take oil from a whole bunch of other random s***, pump it full of hydrogen and then mix it back in with the peanuts. So the FDA was like, “You're nasty. That's nasty. Okay, we're setting an identity standard, you can't call anything peanut butter that's less than 95% peanuts.” But then Procter and Gamble, was like “we have so many lawyers, we are coming for you. We're gonna make sure that never Ever happens.” And the FDA was like, “you're the absolute worst. How about 90%?” And then Proctor and Gamble was like, No, man, I already called lawyers. They're on the way. Too late, it's too late. We're doing this. 

LIA 0:34:09
Oh, my gosh. 

ANNA 0:34:10
And finally, after four years of this back and forth, the FDA goes, we are so sick of you clowns, you know what we're gonna do? We're gonna open this up to comments from the public. 

LIA 0:34:23 
Oh, no. 

ANNA 0:34:24 
And then Ruth Desmond was all like, Oh, I got a public comment. You boys put away your rulers and we're gonna have a mother f****** trial, and then the FDA was like, Okay.

LIA 0:34:42 
Ruth Desmond. She a bad b****. I love her.

ANNA 0:34:47 
She's amazing. She's got such great quotes, I'm gonna tell you... Okay, so let's talk about Ruth Desmond. In the 1950s, she was a very proud homemaker and a housewife in Arlington, Virginia, and I'm gonna use the words homemaker and housewife because that's how she defined herself. Okay, in 1955, her beloved husband Gordon, was diagnosed with bladder cancer when he was only in his 40s, and to give you just an idea of Ruth's personality, there's this famous story that when Gordon was about to have surgery for his cancer, Ruth was trying to tell the doctors that the anesthesia they were about to use, Gordon was allergic to... And they wouldn't listen to her. So she climbed onto his gurney as they were rolling him into the operating room, and wouldn't get off until they listened Ruth, and by the way, she was right...

LIA 0:35:39 
Of course she was. Yeah, of course she was. She knew.

ANNA 0:35:41 
Obviously, she was right. So luckily, Gordon's cancer was treated and he survived, but Ruth was really shook by her husband getting so sick by him getting cancer in his 40s, so she wanted to learn more about this disease, potential causes, and if there's any kind of preventative measures that she could take so she decided to do research, and she discovered that there were chemical additives and pesticide residues in many common foods, that those substances had been known to cause cancer, and specifically residue of the pesticide DDT had been linked to bladder cancer.

LIA 0:36:19  
Oh! 

ANNA 0:36:20 
So Ruth realized my husband's cancer could have been caused by food I gave him without knowing it. Right. So what did she do? She asked to speak to the manager. She literally called the FDA looking for someone to talk to about this, and they got back to her and they said, Well, we've got a hearing coming up on food additives, so if you're interested in this, why don't you sit in on this hearing and learn more about it. So she went and she listened to the scientists and experts, industry representatives, FDA officials, talk about these chemicals and additives that were in the food she ate every day and fed to her family, and she realized that this information was crucial for homemakers to have... To be able to make healthy choices for their families, but all this information was totally inaccessible to them... Right, newspapers and magazines didn't report any of the stuff, any of the scientific stuff or about any of the government regulation, it certainly wasn't in any food advertising by the food companies, and most of it wasn't even on the labels. So Ruth was like, I gotta get this information out there to these housewives, but it wasn't enough for her that homemakers just knew about this, they needed to be able to participate and actually have a say in how food was handled because the one thing she didn't see in these hearings she watched was anyone representing a consumer. 

LIA 0:37:46  
Wow. 

ANNA 0:37:47ANNA In 1959, she founded the federation of homemakers, according to their official history, which they published on the 20th anniversary in 1979, the Federation was formed by and for homemakers deeply concerned with a chemical treatment practically all foods received today and disturbed by the weakness of our food laws, I mean, shots fired. Shots fired. She's coming in hot calling you weak. So the Federation would get all this vital information, health information to its members through a newsletter, keep members informed of the food regulation bills that were pending in Congress and organized letter writing campaigns to either oppose or support them, and to attend and testify at these hearings to make sure that the American consumer and home-maker had a voice. And there was no consumer advocacy structure, there were watchdog groups, you couldn't start a hashtag if somebody was poisoning your beans... Yeah, there was nothing like that. There was nothing organized. It was just her. 

LIA 0:38:46
Right.

ANNA 0:38:47 
So the first target was the cranberry industry because it was found that they were selling cranberry products from crops that had been tainted with DDT, the pesticide. She targeted companies that we're putting nitrates in baby food. Chloroform in children's, toothpaste. Chemical additives and toxic artificial coloring in jelly beans. These companies are trying to kill kids! 

LIA 0:39:11 
Yeah they are. 

ANNA 0:39:13 
Baby food, jelly beans. And she was not afraid to call these industry executives, lawyers, government, big wigs, all of them who are men out on their s***. At an international food conference, she turned to the SVP of General Foods, who was sitting next to her and said, “You know, it amazes me, you gentlemen in this food industry are always so concerned about having quality food for yourself, but you want the rest of us to eat sawdust.”

LIA 0:39:42 
Ruth Desmond burn. Wow. It just like, there's no fear. She knew what she needed to say. And that she had to stand up for it.

ANNA 0:39:53 
Ruth and the Federation had been watching the peanut butter case since 1959. They knew that the peanut industry had been tying the FDA up in court for five years to keep them from imposing an identity standard of 90% peanuts so they could put whatever they wanted in a jar and call it “peanut butter.” Ruth was not happy with this, you could even say it really roasted her nuts. Here’s Ruth’s daughter, Janet Swahgger on The Uncertain Hour talking about her mom’s reaction to finding out what was actually in this stuff being called “peanut butter.”

CLIP 0:40:28
Janet: “She said, that’s terrible, they want to make money, industry by putting less and less peanuts in the peanut butter and like she said, it’s children eating these peanut butter sandwiches mostly, and here they are trying to put cold cream in there and use less peanuts. She said it’s just peanut flavored cold cream. Like Ponds cold cream that you put on your face. That’s what she called it. She said, you might as well put some Jif on your face at night.”

ANNA 0:40:59 
So the FDA opened the case to public comment in 1964, and Ruth marshalled her home makers, they got out their quills or their ink blot... I don't know. They wrote letters, okay. The FDA received 1,900 letters. And there was so much opposition to lowering the threshold, that in the fall of 1965, six years after they proposed this threshold, they decided that they needed to have a formal evidentiary hearing. So a formal evidentiary hearing has a official hearing examiner, which acts as a judge, there's testimony, witnesses, lawyers, cross-examination, exhibits. Evidence. 

LIA 0:41:39 
Oh yeah.

ANNA 0:41:40 
And at the end would be a formal decision handed down that would finally answer this bottom line question, which was, when does it stop being peanut butter?

LIA 0:41:51 
Oh, I want to know. When does it stop being peanut butter?

ANNA 0:41:55 
And something else interesting happened in 1962 that is affecting all this... So on March 15th, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech called A Special Message to Congress on Protecting Consumer Interest. In it, he talked about his plans to reinforce and expand legislation, safeguarding against anti-consumer practices. But he also put forth what he called a Consumer's Bill of Rights, so he said consumers are entitled to four things to be safe, to be informed, to choose and to be heard, and those four rights became really the framework for how Ruth would represent herself and as a consumer advocate when she went against these huge food industry, big wigs, especially the right to be heard. But Kennedy also did something else. He put the American housewife into the center of the consumer protection issue:

CLIP 0:42:51 
JFK Consumer’s Rights Speech

JFK: “Every year, new chemicals are being put in our food or sprayed on crops. 90% of the prescriptions written today are for drugs that were unknown 20 years ago. Unless the housewife is an expert dietician, mathematician, chemist and mechanic. She cannot properly or economically run her house, and shop for her family.”  

ANNA 0:43:17  
So remember in our first episode when I was talking about Bunker food, and we talked about women in the early days of the Cold War, that women were seen as keepers of the home, they were these first responders, they were like the front line of protecting families? So this is the exact same time, that kind of ethos there that attitude towards housewives. Homemakers was similar in this situation too, the housewife was seen as the rational manager of the home, she was knowledgeable in budgeting, Personal Finance, nutrition, general wellness, and was tasked with learning and integrating all this new technology coming into the home, all these microwaves, toasters and s** showing out, she's gotta figure how to use them, and also informed consumerism, but even though there was a respect and an honoring of housewives, women were institutionally seen as inferior. Roles were strictly limited, they were put in this box... I mean, this was more than a decade before women could even legally open their own bank account... Something I noticed throughout all my research and this is there is such derision of domestic and emotional labor, the labor that goes into running a home and a family, there was just all this stuff that was like, Oh... She was just a housewife. Even like her allies would say these things probably unconsciously, right. A relative of her said, she'd walk in those rooms and all those men looked at her and thought the only thing she knew how to do is knit sweaters. I don't know how to knit a sweater.

LIA 0:44:52 
Yeah, do not know how to knit a sweater.

ANNA 0:44:54 
I want to see one of those dude's knit a sweater, If she knew how to knit a sweater. That's a skill. That's a valuable... It is skill. And of course, we live in this capitalist society and this work was unpaid, so it was seen as having no value.

LIA 0:45:05 
It's just dismissed.

ANNA 0:45:06
Although if you had to pay somebody to do everything that a housewife did... 

LIA 0:45:12 
Oh my god. 

ANNA 0:45:13 
It'll be astronomical. Okay, that was my feminist rant, guys, I hope you enjoyed it. Shout out to any housewives, homemakers who are listening. We value you. Okay, so this housewife concept, was something that Ruth, the FDA, and the peanut butter company executives all tried to use to their own advantage in these trials. Ruth knew that she was this sweet, polite old lady that nobody would see as threatening and that got her into rooms that she wouldn't have otherwise got into, and then people were really surprised when she shredded their a****

LIA 0:45:54 
It was a little bit of a trojan horse scenario. Sure come on in. Totally harmless.

ANNA 0:46:00
I read a quote of hers that said, “I've always been amazed, I suppose, because I have a pleasant manner, these men will tell me the most outrageous confidential things. I just wonder why I would say to myself, inwardly, are you telling me this? I will most certainly blab it. 

LIA 0:46:18  
I love that. 

ANNA 0:46:21 
So she represented herself as the well-informed housewife and a concerned citizen, but not an expert, she never questioned their knowledge, she never asked them to change their formulas, she just said, if you wanna change the recipe, put it on label, and if you're gonna put fewer than 95% peanuts in your jar. Don't call it peanut butter.

LIA 0:46:42  
That's not peanut butter. 

ANNA 0:46:43 
She proposed calling it peanut spread. Okay, and she dressed the part... I love this. She would show up in like a flower hat and white gloves and pantyhose, and when she had a big day in court, she would wear her lobbying mink. That's how you knew you were in trouble.

LIA 0:47:00 
You were like oh s*** Ruth, she’s got the mink!

ANNA 0:47:04 
So all of these hearings up until now had not included the consumer, and so when this trial was announced, Ruth pushed really, really hard for the Federation of homemakers to have a role, and like I said, both sides, the FDA and the peanut butter company has tried to use the homemakers Federation and Ruth to their advantage. and especially the image, the ethos of a homemaker. so the FDA couldn't match the money, the lawyers, the lobbyists, the press of these peanut butter companies, they were just some government hacks, right. So they saw Ruth as kind of their secret weapon. 

LIA 0:47:44  
Okay.

ANNA 0:47:47 
First of all, it's easy enough to malign a government agency, but it's a lot harder to malign a sweet old lady who just doesn't wanna poison people... 

LIA 0:47:54 
Right. 

ANNA 0:47:58 
And the press loved her, so there were all these articles about her and following her, right, which kept the momentum, which kept the story in the press. But the peanut butter companies used her being a homemaker against her. In the pre-trial hearings, the lawyers tried to kick them out, tried to get them banned from the trial, they're reasoning was it was too technical for new people to follow.

LIA 0:48:26 
They just wouldn't understand it. Wow. 

ANNA 0:48:28 
It was too complicated to understand. And so they didn't need to be there because they wouldn't be able to follow it anyway. So Ruth had something to say about this. First of all, she said It would be a tragedy for there to be no one representing the consumer in this trial. 

LIA 0:48:48 
Right. 

ANNA 0:48:50  
That she and her members have been following the saga closely since 1959, and they were fully informed about all the technicalities. Moreover, she said, Peanut Butter is a simple food eaten by children and the elderly, and the fact that it is being made so complicated that you think a housewife can't understand it, is exactly what is the issue. 

LIA 0:49:14
Oh! 

ANNA 0:49:15 
So the hearing examiner, judge not only allowed them to stay, get this, he allowed them to take an active role in the trial, even cross-examine witnesses... 

LIA 0:49:26
Yes.

ANNA 0:49:27 
Put evidence into the trial and object to questions and answers.

LIA 0:49:33 
Oh my God.

ANNA 0:49:35  
So Ruth took on the lead role, she called herself the Consumer Council, and that she was going to be representing the American consumer. So bada**, I love this. Ruth attended every single day of the trial, and when reporters asked her why, she said, I cannot leave them alone, these lawyers. And to call this an uneven match is like the understatement of the century, the peanut butter companies sometimes had as many as 30 lawyers in the courtroom at one time, well, they're obviously all men, and then you got Ruth and two other Federation officers sitting in a little table in their flower hats and they're white gloves and their little purses, I mean, like picture that. Picture that image.

LIA 0:50:23  
Their trial minks.

ANNA 0:50:2  
Their trial minks. They are surrounded by these like guys in suits, they're probably all smoking cigarettes are all Don Draper and s***. There's like three grandmas also... Where is this movie? 

LIA 0:50:35 
Yes. 

ANNA 0:50:36 
Why has nobody made this movie... Can I please have the peanut butter grandma movie next time instead of another goddamn Spider-Man movie? Please. Just one less Spider-Man movie. One thing she did that I loved is she just never let them forget that people ate this, and she would bring jars of peanut butter to the trial and set them on the table and then... And then the lawyers and stuff would pick them up as though they were exhibits to use as examples in the trial. And she would be like, No, no, I'm eating that. Put it down. Like I'm tasting all of them, I'm testing them all, I'm eating them. Stop.

LIA 0:51:18 
I mean, what an approach in it's a strategy, but also... Yeah, like this is the food that you guys are giving us to eat, like this is what we're buying every day.

ANNA 0:51:28 
Right. And she had to walk this very fine line between staying strong, getting these arguments across, doing what she came here to do while still keeping her sweet little grandma persona that got her access... 

LIA 0:51:40 
Yeah.

ANNA 0:51:42 
And of course, she had to contend with sexism and being patronized the whole way. During the trial, she was cross-examining a peanut butter executive about why they don't put more information on the label, and he said that the consumers, meaning house wives don't like to read.

LIA 0:52:04 
He did not say that to Ruth.

ANNA 0:52:07 
He did. He said that the consumers, meaning housewives get confused by technical terms, which is why they just use a lot of colors, because the consumers like colors and they're easy to understand.

LIA 0:52:20
Oh my... Oh, please tell me, what did Ruth say?

ANNA 0:52:24 
So Ruth replied, you're assuming then that the consumer is not very smart, and the executive said, “No, the consumer is no moron... She's your wife.” To which Ruth said, to assume consumers don't read labels is demeaning to their intelligence, and I am not your wife. 

 [Bomb going off effect]

LIA 0:52:52 
Damn, Ruth.

ANNA 0:52:55 
I hope she just flicked a cigarette then and walked out of the courtroom, that's what I'm hoping.

LIA 0:52:59
Threw her mink over her shoulder.

ANNA 0:53:04  
Gathered up all of her jars of peanut butter and her little purse. She got all this media attention, she was called America's most gutsy house wife, and that she spit in the eye of the corporate establishment. And so a decision was made, the court upheld the 90% threshold and ruled that anything containing less than 90% peanuts would be peanut butter spread. 

LIA 0:53:30
She won. 

ANNA 0:53:32  
And this is just such an amazing story about how one woman put a cause at the center of her life and never let go, she never gave up, and we are still benefiting from it. 

LIA 0:53:44 
Yeah. I love the story so much, and it's just amazing that if she hadn't done that, who knows what the f*** we'd be eating right now.

ANNA 0:53:54 
Right, we already eat some shady s***... But there is still such a backlash against regulation and seeing regulation as bad, even though Ruth won this trial, you know the the lobbyist and the company representatives also kind of won because this idea of there's too much regulation, it slows everything down, it stifles innovation has definitely stuck around, and in fact, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter gave a speech about anti-regulation and he even brought this trial up. 

LIA 0:54:27 
Oh. 

CLIP 0:54:28 
The Uncertain Hour, Jimmy Carter on Regulatory Reform….
“It should not have taken 12 years and a hearing record of over 100,000 pages for the FDA to decide what percentage of peanuts there ought to be in peanut butter. [Laughter]

ANNA 0:54:43 
But the thing is, everybody hates regulation until they realize that their peanut butter is 50% cancer causing sawdust, okay.

LIA 0:54:50 
Saw dust, Cristco. You know.

ANNA 0:54:52 
You know, and there's still shady s*** going on in food regulation, and even in peanut butter. In 2015, a peanut executive got sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly sending out Peanut Butter contaminated with Salmonella.

LIA 0:55:09
And people died.

ANNA 0:55:10  
Yeah, he caused an entire outbreak, there were more than 700 cases of Salmonella poisoning tied to this peanut butter. So this is a real issue and it matters and it matters that we step up and take part of it. So I was looking at the FDA website and there's lots of information for consumers about different food and drugs, but there's also stuff about new regulations, about pending laws and Congress, and there's even a section where you can participate in webinars, workshops and public meetings online. So these hearings, like Ruth used to sit into, they still happen, and you can Zoom into them. 

LIA 0:55:48 
Wow. 

ANNA 0:55:49
So this is still happening and we can participate in it. We can carry on the mink legacy of Ruth.

LIA 0:55:59
Yeah, I might have to get my special zoom... My version of a Zoom mink.

ANNA 0:56:07 
Mink PJs. I'm gonna pre-script some one-liners, some real zingers.

LIA 0:56:13
Oh, you totally should.

Credits

ANNA 0:56:16 
Thank you for joining us today for this episode of Every Day is a Food Day! 

LIA 0:56:19
Be sure to subscribe, and please rate and review the show to help other listeners find it. Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @FoodDayPod and join our Facebook group. We want to hear from you! The clips you heard today were from the US National Archives and “The Uncertain Hour” from Marketplace. 

ANNA 0:56:51 
Every Day is a Food Day is a production of Van Valin Productions and YumDay. It’s created, written and hosted by Lia Ballentine and Anna Van Valin. Our sound designer is Steve Thompson, our production intern is Emma Massey, and our marketing intern is Elaine Oh . 

LIA 0:57:05 
See you next time!