The National Institute of Standards and Technology — which sounds like the made-up university where the bespectacled female lead would adjunct in a shitty action movie — would like to sell you some peanut butter. That'll be $761, please.
Peanut butter is a versatile wonder-food (try smearing it on a hamburger, I’m not kidding), but this isn’t just peanut butter. This is Standard Reference Material No. 2387. And one jar costs more than the average monthly rent in San Antonio, Kansas City or Tucson.
In case you're not sold on the name, check out the packaging, which places less of an emphasis on design and more of an emphasis on being really, really boring.
Though the price tag might have you imagining a compound of peanuts, printer ink, human blood, and threee square inches of the Magna Carta shredded to dust in a food processor, this stuff is perfectly regular peanut butter. Which, apparently, is the point.
This peanut butter isn’t actually intended for your mouth (rude, I know), but to be fed into laboratory gadgets like gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers. Smart people then use it to establish an industry-wide standard to which similar food products can be compared. The high price has nothing to do with taste or quality, but simply reflects all the scientist-hours that went into its making.
Alternate explanation: these are rations for our nation's secret underground robot army. Choosy human moms choose Jif; choosy cyborg moms choose $761 science paste.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.