Fresh roasted peanuts.
We owe these treats – and many others – to peanuts and peanut growers.
Celebrate Sunday responsibly – October 13 is the National Peanut Festival.
Whole lotta nuts
Ask the American Peanut Council everything about peanuts except when the national festival is and who decided.
Take a look at their statistics, and you’ll see that Southerners in particular would be bereft without one of our favorite treats – not just economically.
According to the USDA’s ‘Crop Survey’ for 2012, southern states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina and Virginia – produced 91% of the United States peanut crop.
Florida is the third largest producer in the country at 780 million pounds.
The total 2012 US peanut crop set a record high of 6.74 billion pounds.
Peanuts as health food
Staring at an empty peanut butter jar with a spoon in it might not be the best way to convince peanut lovers that peanuts are really very good for you.
- In fact, one ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter provide over 10% the RDA for protein.
- Peanuts are nutrient dense – tiny, yummy packages chock full of heart-healthy fats, dietary fiber, iron, potassium, folate, calcium, vitamin E, thiamin, zinc and magnesium.
- Peanut butter made from 100% peanuts and peanut oil has many of the heart-healthy characteristics of unsaturated fatty acids such as monounsaturated oleic acid found in olive oil.
- In a healthy diet, when peanuts replace less healthy fats and snacks, peanut eaters will not gain weight.
- Scientists are currently studying the health benefits of polyphenols, phytosterols and amino acids found in peanuts.
- Peanuts grow in all tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
- Peanuts grow in sandy, loamy soils, from April to October, depending on the variety, and require 120-160 frost free days.
- In spite of their name, peanuts are actually legumes like beans and peas – edible seeds enclosed in pods.
- The United States ranks third in global peanut production.
- U.S. peanuts fall into four basic types: Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia. Each of these peanuts is distinctive in size and flavor.
- Peanut butter, which by law must be 90% peanuts, is the leading use of peanuts produced in the U.S.
- Archeologists estimate that some of the oldest specimens of peanut found in Peru are about 7,600 years old.
- When the Spanish conquistadors returned to Europe, they took peanuts back with them.
- Commercial production of peanuts in the US for food didn’t take off until after the Civil War because peanuts were regarded as a regional food that poor people ate.
- Working at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Dr. George Washington Carver developed over 300 uses for peanuts, recipes to industrial products.
- It’s a good thing that peanuts are so yummy. Because they grow underground, they’re a pain to harvest.
About the American Peanut Council (APC)
The American Peanut Council is the only U.S. organization which represents all segments of the peanut industry, including growers, shellers, manufacturers, brokers, international companies, and more.
Located in Washington, D.C., APC assists the peanut industry in developing best practices and training on food safety and provides industry, the government, media and consumers with answers to questions on food safety issues.
And even though they don’t know anything about the National Peanut Festival, they’re still pretty okay.
American Peanut Council
- 1500 King St., Ste. 301
- Alexandria, Va. 22314
- Phone: 703-838-9500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: email@example.com