Why the Feds Are Selling $761 Peanut Butter It's the peanut butter by which other foods are measured By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Feb 16, 2015 9:59 AM CST 63 comments Comments A jar of peanut butter is going for $761. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The US government is selling three-jar units of peanut butter for $761—even though the stuff inside, according to a researcher, is "prepared by a commercial manufacturer of peanut butter whose name you would recognize." That's what a chemist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology told the New York Times in 2003, when the peanut butter cost a mere $425. The reason for the price is the peanut butter's history. It was made to be used as "standard reference material" for researchers to study as a comparison to other foods, the Times reported. In other words, as Eater reports, "this is the gold standard of peanut butter."