peanuts aflotoxin peanut butter Don’t you just love the taste and smell of peanut butter…mmm? I used to love putting a huge dollop on my steel cut oatmeal (when I had steal cut oats back in the day!) and boy did it taste good! Then one day I was reading some interesting information on health and peanuts and what I found was astonishing! It seems like most peanut butter contains aflatoxin…a toxin produced by a mold found in peanuts!

These molds grow on crops, especially peanuts, tree nuts, corn, wheat, and seed oils (i.e., cottonseed) that are stored under conditions of warmth and humidity.

Peanuts are a legume and due to the mold and fungi on them, they are highly allergenic. Not to mention that non-organic peanuts are one of the most pesticide laden foods in the Western diet!

Can aflatoxins cause CANCER? Looks like it. Eek!

Aflatoxin B1 has been classified as a known human carcinogen (oh no!) and is known to cause liver cancer in animals. In Africa and Asia, where peanuts are a huge part of the diet, studies have shown an association between aflatoxin and liver cell cancer. Recent research has also shown a strong connection between long-term dietary aflatoxin exposure in conjunction with hepatitis B (a viral infectious disease of the liver) and increased rates of liver cancer. Aflatoxin is also considered 20x more toxic than DDT! This is not good, and definitely not good for that hot body of yours!

Why isn’t the government doing anything about it?

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations has set a limit of 15 parts per billion total aflatoxin in the edible portion of nuts and nut products.  This should be found in the ‘maximum permissible levels in food’ guideline but when I clicked on it here, I couldn’t find nuts or seeds (even though peanuts are a legume – the government listed it as a nut) and any sort of guideline as to how much I should consume. I did find permissible levels of melamine (isn’t some dishware made of that?) allowed in baby food though…ewww.

Anyways, the moral of the story is to perhaps avoid this cancer causing agent because it seems that the government does not have our back.

Where else are aflatoxins found?

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Sugar
  • Peanuts
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Sorghum
  • Cottonseed
  • Cheeses
  • Antibiotics

What can you do?

  • Replace the above foods.

Almond butter for peanut butter, corn, barley, wheat for other more nutrient dense grains like millet and quinoa, say no to sugar, and avoid cottonseed oil and antibiotics if you can 🙂

  • Make your own nut butters! Check out my blog on it here. I love making sesame and almond butter, yum!

Aren’t you glad you read this here and now? It’s amazing to take your health into your own hands and clear up the confusion!

Love + Homemade Almond Butter


Michelle Lall

At The Naked Label we LOVE Michelle. Her scientific background and approach to nutrition is eye opening and informative. We love her personality and passion for helping her clients achieve their goals while having fun with food along the way. Definitely check out here site to learn how you can work with Michelle.

“Image courtesy of Stoonn /”