Archive for December 13th, 2017


Books and Peanut Butter

Did you know:

  • that it takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter?
  • that the favorite bread for a PBJ sandwich is white, and the favorite spread is strawberry jam? (Grape jelly second.)
  • that Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley favored sliced banana on their peanut butter sandwich?
  • that creamy peanut butter is more popular on the east coast, chunky on the west?
  • that peanuts are called “ground peas” because they grow underground?
  • that goober – a nickname for peanuts – comes from “nguba,” the Congo language name for peanut?
  • that two of our presidents – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter – were peanut farmers?

Which brings us to President James A Garfield (1831-1881). Mr Garfield was the 20th president of the United States, unfortunately serving only 200 days due to an assassin’s bullet. But he left behind a number of interesting quotations, such as “The chief duty of government is to keep the peace and stand out of the sunshine of the people.”

It is also claimed that he said “Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have peanut butter.” Did he really say that? Did he begin with the Biblical quote found in Matthew, and again in Luke, “Man shall not live by bread alone” and amend it a bit? Was he trying to create a humorous image?

There are those who say he couldn’t have said it – that peanut butter “hadn’t been invented” by the time he died in 1881. They point to US Patent 306,727 issued to Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1884 for the manufacture of peanut butter. And then there were the Kellogg brothers, who patented the process of preparing peanut butter with steamed nuts in 1895.

Hold on, others say. The Incas developed a paste of ground peanuts way back in 950 BC! And the Aztecs were making peanut butter as early as the 15th century. These are claims one can “dig up” with a Google Goober search. George Washington Carver, who began teaching and researching at Tuskegee Institute in 1896, is considered by some to be the “father” of the peanut butter industry – he came up with more than 300 uses for peanuts.

But it doesn’t really matter who did what first, we’re just glad for peanut butter today — Jif, Peter Pan, Skippy, all the brands. And, being a publishing house, naturally we’re glad for BOOKS, thank goodness for the printed word, for the opportunity to exchange ideas with millions of people, how great is that? Nourishment for the mind, body and spirit, and so we say:

We cannot live by bread alone, we must have books and peanut butter!