3 Essential Things to Pay Attention to When Choosing a Nut Butter

Posted on : August 25th, 2017

man choosing a nut butterIn today’s health-conscious and allergy wary society, many people are turning to alternative all-natural or organic options like nut butter instead of the traditional oily and sugary peanut butter spreads. But with all the different options and varieties on the store shelves, choosing a nut butter isn’t always easy. Learn three important things you should pay attention to when choosing a nut butter.

Less is more on the ingredients list

The FDA sets USA labeling and ingredient standards to help protect you as the consumer and provide understanding around what’s in your food.

While the FDA does provide guidance for labeling food that is genetically modified and engineered, it’s not required on food packages. Neither are the words organic, natural, non-GMO, vegan, or any other optional labels that advertisers and marketing campaigns use to attract you to a particular product. In fact, sometimes these very labels mislead you into purchasing a product that isn’t what you think it is.

If you find reading labels often leaves you confused or overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Your fellow consumers are trying to sound out the odd ingredients right along with you. What happened? You were just trying to buy nut butter.

Sometimes though, when choosing a nut butter, it isn’t the odd ingredients you need to watch out for, but the everyday ingredients added to your products that increase fat, calories, sodium, and sugar intake. Many peanut butter brands contain added oil, sugar, and preservatives that change the flavor and threaten to increase your waist line.

Maisie Jane’s nut butter has one ingredient making reading the labels the easiest thing you will do all day.

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Food additives don’t add anything good

Food additivesWith a list 3000 items long, the food additives database maintained by the FDA includes many everyday items such as sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda. However, food preservatives, color additives, vitamins, minerals, and other natural and artificial flavors are also included on that list. Some additives are used to enhance flavor while others are used to extend shelf life or maintain consistency. Some cause allergic reactions so it’s important to know your food additives.

While this list is highly regulated by the FDA, you are not alone if you are concerned with a number of food additives allowed in your products. At the same token, natural and artificial food additives are considered one in the same. But there is a distinct difference. Natural ingredients derive from a natural food source like corn and soy used in creating consistency agents or beet powder used in food coloring. Artificial ingredients are created in a lab without using a natural source.

Additives are added to food to make it last longer, improve or change the flavor, alter the color, emulsify the product, and several other things you may or may not deem unnecessary. There are studies showing the potential negative impacts on your health due to the consistent intake of food additives.

At Maisie Jane’s we don’t put additives in our nut products. We want your food to be as clean and pure as possible, with no risk to your health and all the benefits you could want. You won’t find any additives, artificial or natural, in Maisie Jane’s nut butter. Just one simple ingredient on an easy to read label!

Know how to interpret labels

Organic, natural, non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher! What is the difference between all these labels and what do they really mean?

  • Organic – 100% organic products bear the USDA organic label symbol. But some products contain only some organic ingredients which might mislead you when making a purchasing decision. If it doesn’t have the USDA organic symbol it may not be completely organic. Maisie Jane’s nut butters, with the exception of our handcrafted butters, contain only one ingredient – nuts. Jars proudly display the USDA organic seal for organic nut butter.
  • Non GMO VerifiedNon-GMO – Almonds are naturally a non-GMO crop. When people see a “non-GMO” label, they can discern that the product doesn’t contain any genetically modified ingredients. This is a good thing, but at the same time, this label conceals some important information. Some non-GMO crops are technically NOT organic, meaning that they can be grown alongside other conventional crops that are treated with pesticides. This means that non-GMO crops can be exposed to harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Maisie Jane’s almonds are cultivated using traditional agricultural techniques and grown without the use of genetic engineering or genetic manipulation.

Beyond our own growing, the secondary ingredients that Maisie Jane’s sources and buys from other growers do not contain gene-spliced bio-engineered organisms and are free of genetically modified DNA. We require documentation that meets these standards from every vendor we partner with. Maisie Jane’s cultivates almonds using traditional farming techniques and never genetically modified or engineered options.

  • Natural – This one can be a shocker to any shopper who is new to selecting wholesome foods. “Natural” actually doesn’t guarantee that your food is free of additives. In fact, the label “natural” is not formulated by the FDA or USDA- which means that the manufacturer can place the word “natural” on any of their products without needing to pass certain criteria. Oftentimes, “natural” can merely suggest the absence of some synthetic flavors or colors, but there’s no absolute guarantee. At Maisie Jane’s, we assure you that “all natural” means no chemicals, no synthetics, and nothing from a lab.
  • Kosher – The kosher dietary laws must be met in order to indicate a food is kosher. Kosher laws require certain food processes and restriction of certain animal ingredients like milk or the cross contamination of dairy and meat ingredients. A kosher label, however, is not a good way to check for food allergens like milk since some kosher laws still allow milk.Luckily, all Maisie Jane’s nut butter products contain only nuts such as almonds and cashews, except our handcrafted butters which has a few other ingredients. All nut butter products at Maisie Jane’s are certified Kosher by Earth Kosher.
  • Vegan – Almonds are vegan! Yes, the word is sometimes synonymous with eating kale and lentils, but it’s also a way to say something doesn’t contain animal derived products. With almond nut butter from Maisie Jane’s, you can guarantee every vegan spoonful comes with zero cholesterol and a lot less fat and sugar than all those other brands! The vegan certification means you can use up all the nut butter and never worry about breaking your animal code!

Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family-owned and operated orchards. We use organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.