Add STEEM peanut butter to the list of edible, quick pick-me-ups, as the food features almost the same amount of caffeine per serving as two cups of coffee. At 150 milligrams of caffeine in two tablespoons (two cups of coffee contain 190 mg.) STEEM brand peanut butter is advertised to serve as an energy boost — and as the STEEM website pitches, an alternative to coffee, asking such questions as “How about never having to choose awful breakroom coffee because you don’t want to spend more on caffeine than you spend on your lunch?” and “How about never having to bring that damn percolator on camping trips just so you can avoid that crippling noontime caffeine headache?”
But New York State has other concerns. In a November 8 press release, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offers a series of caffeine comparisons, stating that two tablespoons of STEEM “contains 5x the caffeine as a can of Coke…more than 2x the caffeine per serving as a concentrated Red Bull,” and that the “only food product for sale today with more caffeine is a single shot of “5-Hour Energy.”
Schumer’s release insists the FDA must get involved. “Parents across the country shouldn’t have to worry about a scenario in which their child might unknowingly bite into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that contains more caffeine than two cups of coffee,” says Schumer, “The thought of super caffeinated peanut butter should give everyone the jitters because of the potential health threat it poses, especially in the hands of children and teenagers. The FDA should take immediate action and investigate whether this caffeinated food product should be pulled from shelves.”
The makers of STEEM responded to Schumer’s concerns in a New York Post article: “We welcome the FDA, Sen. Schumer or any other federally regulated authority to review STEEM’s product and processes so they can see that STEEM is perfectly safe when used as directed.” STEEM is available online in 8 oz. jars at $5.99 each (plus a $7.50 flat-rate shipping fee within the contiguous U.S.). The company’s website has a space set aside to list brick-and-mortar stores that sell the peanut butter, but as of this writing the locations register is stuck in an endless throbber.