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Peanut Butter Contamination
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About three months ago I realized that peanut butter always made me sick, so I assumed I had a peanut intolerance and stopped eating them. Well, my mother has been trying to find gluten-free peanuts and nearly every package she finds is made in the same facility as wheat products. She was thinking that it's possible that the peanut butter I eat is contaminated since my symptoms are nearly the same. Even though the company tells me their PB is gluten-free, they may not be aware that the peanuts they buy are shelled in facilities that also contain wheat. Does anyone know if peanuts are usually contaminated? Are PB manufacturers required to label their product with "may contain wheat" in this case. Is there a way to find out where peanuts in a certain brand of PB are shelled?

And a related question - is a peanut intolerance similar to gluten in that it causes intestinal damage? I won't eat something if it's made in the same facility as wheat, but I'm not nearly that careful with peanuts and I haven't had any symptoms from possible peanut contamination. Will I be damaging my body if I do get trace amounts of peanuts even if I don't feel symptoms.

And because I know all of you ask such thorough questions - No, my PB is not being contaminated by double dipping because I live alone, and I get sick from nearly every brand of PB I eat. Thanks everyone!

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Don't know what brands you've been trying, but I only eat the natural peanut butter. It's just peanuts and salt. Can't get any more "peanutty-er" than that! A good health food store will sometimes grind it right there for you fresh, which is great if you have that option. Certified organic peanuts might be handled in a dedicated facility, thus avoiding the CC.

I don't believe a peanut reaction would actually do intestinal damage. Never saw any references to any such thing.

Now, as for eliminating the CC, suppose you buy peanuts in the shell so you can "unshell" them (or whatever the term is) yourself, throw them into a blender and viola! Fresh peanut butter. Of course roast them first if you like.

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Ummm... anyone else using your pb? You ever use PB to spread on non-gluten-free food? etc? I would think your source of contimantion is much closer to home.

We get Kroger Natural Peanutbutter which is only peanuts and salt in the ingredients and my son has never reacted to it. CC at the factory is a risk with all foods at all times, theres a point when you give up and take a little risk. :(

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Just throwing out another idea--could you be intolerant to legumes? I get intestinal symptoms from peanuts as well as soy, peas, and beans of all types. I love peanut butter, and tried to find a brand that agreed with me. When I began to test myself with the other legumes and peanuts, I realized I was intolerant.

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I guess you could test this by eating some peanuts that you shell yourself. If you react to them, it's pretty sure you're reacting to the peanuts themselves and not to a possible cc with gluten.

I don't know if there's any research about other intolerances and possible damage... I avoid eating all legumes, including peanuts, because they give me gas and loose stools, but I don't look out for trace amounts. I feel generally very healthy so I think it's ok, but I don't have any more proof of it than that.

Pauliina

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RiceGuy - I have tried all natual PB as well as brands like Skippy and both make me sick. Still, I'm not sure being all natual guarantees anything about whether the peanuts were shelled in a facility with wheat.

VydorScope - I knew someone was going to ask about possible contamination in my own home! No, it's not possible, I live alone, and I only allow gluten-free foods in my apartment. Unless the little gluten elves are sneaking in at night and putting gluten in my PB!

jerseyangel - I've considered a legume intolerance, but I don't get sick from eating any of the other legumes, so I think it's just a peanut thing.

aikiducky - good idea about buying the shell-it-yourself peanuts! I don't know why I didn't think of this one myself... Thanks!

So it seems like if a PB says it's gluten-free, it probably is, and I'm just back to having a peanut intolerance. Which is too bad, because I do like my peanuts. Oh how I will miss peanut butter cups and snickers bars...

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Unless the little gluten elves are sneaking in at night and putting gluten in my PB!
They are shifty and underhanded!

I think I'm sensitive to peanuts myself. I get loose bowels sometimes after eating peanuts or peanut butter. I think the idea of trying peanuts alone is a good one.

If you have to give up the peanuts you could try almond butter. I wish they'd put salt in it though, it always comes unsalted!

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Maybe you have a peanut allergy? I just developed an allergy to peanuts.

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RiceGuy - I have tried all natual PB as well as brands like Skippy and both make me sick. Still, I'm not sure being all natual guarantees anything about whether the peanuts were shelled in a facility with wheat.

VydorScope - I knew someone was going to ask about possible contamination in my own home! No, it's not possible, I live alone, and I only allow gluten-free foods in my apartment. Unless the little gluten elves are sneaking in at night and putting gluten in my PB!

jerseyangel - I've considered a legume intolerance, but I don't get sick from eating any of the other legumes, so I think it's just a peanut thing.

aikiducky - good idea about buying the shell-it-yourself peanuts! I don't know why I didn't think of this one myself... Thanks!

So it seems like if a PB says it's gluten-free, it probably is, and I'm just back to having a peanut intolerance. Which is too bad, because I do like my peanuts. Oh how I will miss peanut butter cups and snickers bars...

Yep, it sounds like you need to aviod peanuts in general. :( Sorry, was hopping it was simpler cc from other ppls. :(

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I just read recently that you can buy peanut butter certified to not contain the mold that causes so many of our peanut allergies. I have eaten almond butter for years ... I've heard this peanut butter is carried by Wild Oats (their brand name, though when I read their jars I didn't see mention of it). I'm happy with my almond butter, but this might be something you want to research.

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For a peanut butter alternative, you might look into Peabutter. I haven't had to try it, so I can't say how it tastes.

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For a peanut butter alternative, you might look into Peabutter. I haven't had to try it, so I can't say how it tastes.

I've tried it, and it isn't bad at all! It has a smoother taste than peanut butter--not as good as the real thing, though. :)

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I made a roasted pumpkinseed butter that had the exact texture of peanut butter. The flavor was different, and the color could best be compared to woodchuck poo.

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I personally like the theory of little elves putting gluten in. If thats the case, then elves in my house must be busy with my intolerances! haha!

regardless of the elves, I hope you figure it out. :P

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I should try some of that peabutter. I did find sunflower seed butter at my local Cub Foods and that's pretty good. It's got the same consistency as PB, just has a slightly more sunflower seedy taste. Which you barely notice if you're putting it in a sandwich.

Carla - do you have any more information on the mold-free PB? Is there any way to tell if someone is allergic/intolerant to the mold in peanuts rather than the peanuts themselves? What kind of mold is it in peanuts? I'm asking mainly because I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday, and I was going to ask for some food allergy testing.

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I use sunflowerseed butter as an alternative to peanut butter. if it's making you sick, it's making you sick. I would check by trying peanuts (whole) on their own (IF and ONLY IF you're certain its not an anaphylactic allergy), but you might just not do well with peanuts.

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