I would like to know what kind of threat almond butter poses to plane, crew and passengers in the eyes of the Transportation Security Administration?
Not only did I find TSA failed with a capital FAIL on a recent trip with my girlfriend and I to Syracuse to see her grandparents, but apparently almond butter could possibility be used to hijack an aircraft??? I'm baffled. This super healthy (and expensive) food item is not explosive that I know of and with the consistency of, well, soft butter, it certainly can't be used as a blunt object to knock someone upside the head. Here's what happened.
While driving through an Amish area near Lake Oneida, we stopped at an Amish country store. I was absolutely blown away by the low prices of their products, mostly food items produced locally (obviously the Amish aren't worried about making a greedy profit). Almond butter, cashew butter and peanut butter were all for sale. A large container of almond butter costs around $3.50. The same amount in a grocery store in my home town runs about $10. I decided to buy two of them. My girlfriend purchased one almond butter and one cashew butter. At the airport we checked in and approached the TSA security screening area. Before I knew it we were both questioned about our bags and then taken to the "special" area for further inspection. Now these "special" areas are right next to each other, not more than 5-feet apart. Two TSA security officers diligently searched our bags for explosives, nukes, machine guns, bazookas or whatever. What they found were three containers of almond butter and one of cashew butter between the two of us. Like well trained dogs e,ach TSA officer removed the suspect item and informed us they would need to run the bags through the scanning machines one more time. Fine, whatever. We set there waiting patiently, undignified of our quest to live a healthier life by eating good foods. My TSA inspector officer comes back first.
"Sir, the almond butter can't go with you," she says as if she's made some heroic feat for national security. "You can check it if you are checking any bags."
"Mame, that butter costs more than $10 per jar in Florida and as you can see from the prices clearly marked next to the product description and ingredients list it is simply not worth it to pay the airline rapeage charge for checking my bag."
She looks at me and says, "OK sir, I'll throw it away."
But wait, there's more!
I pass my girlfriend as she's still waiting on her bags to be scanned over again. She whispers, "did they take your butter?"
I nod and walk away silently. How in the name of national security is almond butter a threat to passengers and crew? It's obviously not a threat to aircraft if TSA is alright with stowing it below in the cargo hold where line guys will surely smash the living hell out of it before tossing it into the plane. That's going to create one hell of a mess in my bag!
My girlfriend is soon released and walks my way smiling. "They didn't take my almond butter or my cashew butter," she says.
Thanks TSA. Not only did you rob me of my healthy almond butter, but you reassured me that your practices and control policies are completely inconsistent. I feel safer now.