A Brief History of Peanut Butter
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The Incas were the first to grind peanuts, but peanut butter reappeared in the modern world when John Harvey Kellogg filed a patent for a proto-peanut butter in 1895.
The food compound involved boiling nuts and grinding them into a paste. Kellogg promoted peanut butter as a healthy alternative to meat, which he saw as a digestive irritant.
Peanut butter was first established as a delicacy. In 1896, Good Housekeeping encouraged women to make their own peanut butter with a meat grinder and suggested spreading it on bread.
Before the end of the century, an employee at Kellogg's sanitarium, Joseph Lambert, invented machinery to roast and grind peanuts on a larger scale.
A 1908 ad claimed that 10 cent's worth of peanuts contained six times the energy of a porterhouse steak.
By World War I, U.S. meat rationing turned consumers to peanuts. Manufacturers sold tubs of peanut butter to local grocers and advised them to stir frequently as the oil would separate and spoil.
George Washington Carver helped black farmers prosper, free from the tyranny of cotton.
Carver took over the agriculture department at the Tuskegee Institute in 1896 to aid black farmers. Carver began experimenting with plants like peanuts and sweet potatoes, replenishing the nitrogen that cotton plantations stripped from the soil, and helping farmers feed their families.
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