Sneak Peek #1: Even the Government's Peanut Butter is Expensive!

Mangesh & Jason

The new issue hits stands this Tuesday, and we thought we'd get things started with a little sneak peek on our peanut butter spread (that's 2 pages full of weird facts you need to know about peanut butter!). Here's just a little taste:

Want to know who makes the priciest peanut butter on the market? The federal government, of course! For about $220 per 6-ounce jar, the National Institute of Standards and Technology sells what it calls "Standard Reference Material No. 2387," a pristine peanut butter spread. The price tag comes with a precise analysis of the peanut butter's nutritional composition, including levels of vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids, and aflatoxins, the carcinogens produced by mold in peanut crops. Food manufacturers use the spread for quality control, comparing it to their own products. Sadly, this means that no one actually eats the gold-standard peanut butter; it's fed exclusively to laboratory equipment.

* * * * *
But that just scratches the surface. From stories on why the U.S. banned sliced bread, to public artworks that went terribly wrong, to the 50 most interesting places in the space-time continuum, the new issue is definitely worth reading. Look for it on newsstands, or better yet, pair a subscription with mental_floss T-shirt and save yourself some money. Click here for details.