Contraband Peanut Butter

How much do you love your food, and how far would you go to protect your precious cargo while traveling?

Would you be willing to risk federal incarceration and also take on the TSA (the “jolly bunch of inept iPad-stealing perverts”)?

I do love food, but I don’t know if I would go to these lengths. This guy did though and looks like he’s winning! Good for him … Occupy TSA!

It’s kind of funny stumbling on this article especially because of the recent trip I took where flying was involved, and being called out for forgetting to discarding a bottle of water from my carry-on. My friend Howard, who had accidentally made peanut butter, will also be flying internationally tomorrow, so this is a heads up to him: Leave the peanut butter at home!


I love traveling, but I detest the process of it especially where flying is involved. While I find it irritating that you can’t bring certain substances of certain consistencies and of particular quantities or greater on a plane with you, I do understand the risks of not excluding these randomly unidentifiable substances. And while I’ll point to the fact that these substances of consistencies rarely constitute materials of significant threat (e.g. That explosives are more often than not solids, rarely liquids, and sometimes but not often gels), I’m not going to fight it when I’m rushing to catch a flight, and I doubt many other people will either so I’m going to drop the topic for now.

From the way the article was written though, it sounded like this guy Hannibal (how cool is that name??) was about to get on the plane until the agent became suspicious of the “layer of oil sitting atop [the] jar”. This points to another issue that I am concerned with here: food education. If the agent were more educated about real foods, their properties, how they’re made, and what they should really look like rather than just knowing the processed stuff sitting on the store shelves, he’d know that natural peanut butter separates like that and the oil at the top is normal. Peanut butter doesn’t naturally emulsify as Skippy and other commercial brands do (via an additive) and whenever you make it at home whether intentionally or unintentionally, you’ll discover this as well.

All said, it really was this guy Hannibal’s fault that he didn’t surrender his peanut butter which he probably would not have been able to take onto the plane anyway. This was exacerbated by the fact that he was “being sarcastic” and “flippant” to agents that are always looking for an excuse to prove something, but in the end, I guess getting arrested led to him being reunited with his precious peanut butter … and potentially $5mm!


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