Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mr. Peanut's Guide to Nutrition

Happy 2008 and welcome to the second year of Food With Eyes!

If you're like most people, you've probably made some New Year's Resolutions, and one might be to eat right and exercise more. But how can you accomplish this? With Mr. Peanut's Guide to Nutrition, of course. This 1970 booklet was endorsed by Dr. Evelyn B. Spindler of the USDA who urges young readers to "give nutrition a chance."

The cover of the booklet features Mr. Peanut balancing trays of balanced meals. Look closely and you will see Planters Creamy Peanut Butter and Planters Cocktail Peanuts among the offerings. Are the two young diners looking eagerly at his trays of food or the six-foot-tall peanut between them?

Mr. Peanut - Nutritionist. Wouldn't he be Dr. Peanut, then? This page postulates that since Mr. Peanut is a nut and the first letters of nutrition are N-U-T, then clearly he is an expert on nutrition. I hate to point out the flaw in that argument, but maybe I could believe he is an expert in legumetrician.

Mr. Peanut educates us about fats and vitamins. Here he is synthesizing some Vitamin D - or dry roasting himself?

More on vitamins and minerals, including vitamin letters with eyes. Except for poor Niacin who is a 9-legged freak. That Vitamin N just never caught on.

Mr. Peanut fishing and serving as host of The Biggest Loser:

My favorite image from the whole book: Mr. Peanut as a gondolier punting along on a hot dog through the intestinal canal.

Mr. Peanut gives an anatmony lesson. Let's be happy he stopped at the large intestine.

Mr. Universe Peanut shows off:

By now you must be asking, "But Mr. Peanut, what foods should I eat for good nutrition?" And the answer? P-Nutty Cocoa and Mr. Peanut's Sloppy Joes.

An array of nutritious Planters products and Happy Birthday Mr. Peanut (best imagined as Marilyn Monroe singing). He looked good then and is still going strong at over 100 years old.

All illustrations in Mr. Peanut's Guide to Nutrition were by Leonard Kessler.

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