When I travel on longer trips, especially international trips, I bring along snack food with me (things like snack bars, dried fruit, nuts, crackers and peanut butter, etc.) – quick protein snacks (for the most part). I’ve been doing this for years, and never a problem. Until yesterday. I usually carry the tiny 1 ounce peanut butter containers (use once and throw), but I could not find them this time and therefore brought along a 3.4 ounces jar. And the TSA agent in Detroit Metro got quite upset at my little plastic peanut butter container. He held it up and sternly declared “you can’t carry gels!”. Ok, I know that you should not aggravate or mess with TSA agents, but I could not help myself, and burst out laughing. “A gel?” I asked him. “Do you know what a gel is?” He was not amused. I explained that TSA rules prohibit carrying liquids, gels and aerosols over 3 ounces, but that thicker paste like substances are not prohibited (with the exception of the very dangerous toothpaste). “Let me get this straight, peanut butter is a gel?”. “This is a gel!” he replied. I (slowly) tried to explain that the definition of a gel is a liquid that has become semi-solid, and that a gel is only a gel if it can revert back to a liquid (usually by heating or shaking). I also pointed out that no one has ever complained about this before (even when I have carried the deadly 3.4 ounce jars), and that he seemed to be making up his own rules. To no avail. “This is a gel, and you can’t bring it on board!” was his final statement, and he then told me to check my bags if I wanted to bring the jar along. So, there you have it – contrary to what common sense dictates, peanut butter is now a gel.