The most expensive peanut butter in the world is sold by the U.S. government. The $761 jar of peanut butter, created to calibrate machines in food science labs, went viral last month. But “Standard Reference Material 2387,” aka peanut butter, is only the tip of the iceberg of a strange and fascinating world.
…If you look in the right places online, you can find a dazzling array of NIST products for sale. Peanut butter, of course, but also organics in whale blubber (SRM 1945), baking chocolate (SRM 2384), lake sediment powder (SRM 4354), and nicotine metabolites in frozen human urine (SRM 3671). That’s just a small sampling of the over 1,300 reference materials catalogued by NIST.
Stop snickering – putting out a product that tests to narrow specifications is very expensive. If a batch doesn’t meet those specifications? You have to toss it. Calibration samples can be ridiculous in price. Similar to how equipment gets incredibly expensive when you tack on words like “medical” or “marine”.