What’s peanut butter?
That’s the question the Food and Drug Administration was trying to answer in 1959. You’d think it’d be an easy one. They did too.
Federal regulators first set the definition of peanut butter at 95 percent peanuts, five percent sweeteners, oils, and other stuff. Because that’s what peanut butter is, the FDA reasoned. It’s peanuts.
What they didn’t know is that first, short memo would set off a long, complicated legal battle that would change the way we think about food in this country.