Peanuts are a part of American history. The United States has done more to study the advantages of peanuts and the benefits of eating peanuts than any other place on earth. And while all nuts and seeds have their health benefits (research from Harvard shows that two servings of nuts every day can help fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease) peanuts are the nuts we love most.
American Farmers Grow Peanuts
America’s peanut farmers grow peanuts. A lot of peanuts! In 2013, the USDA reported that American farms produced 350,000 metric tons! Although the United States is home to only 3% of the world’s total peanut growing acreage, it actually grows 10% of the world’s peanut supply. That because of the great yields that America peanut acreage gives. Most of that crop–75%–is the runner peanut variety.
Americans Grow Peanuts For Themselves
This isn’t a matter of selfishness. It’s just a matter of taste! Americans love peanuts, refined peanut oil, peanut flour, and peanut butter more than any other people. In America, 90% of households eat peanut butter. Between 2008 and 2014, we were eating an average of 120 million pounds of peanut butter every year.
We Like Peanuts the Most
America does like other nuts and seeds. We grow nearly 40% of the world’s walnut crop, for example. But what we really love is peanuts. Of all the nuts and seeds Americans eat, peanuts and peanut butter account for 67% of our consumption. That’s good, since just one ounce of raw peanuts has more than seven grams of protein and almost two and a half grams of fiber!
You Too Can Grow Peanuts
Peanuts are one of the easiest crops to grow, especially for people who live in the South. All you need is full sun and decent drainage. Peanuts can be planted in their shells or out of them, and they should go in after the last frost. Just don’t remove the thin pink coverings on individual peanuts! The seeds need to be spaced about five inches apart and should be planted two inches deep. They only need an inch of water every week, and they make their own nitrogen, so they don’t need nitrogen fertilizer.
Can I Grow Peanuts in the North?
If you live in the Northern United States and are feeling left out, don’t worry. You can still grow peanuts as well. You’ll just have to start them indoors. Get a big pot, fill it with good, rich soil, and plant seeds an inch deep. Leave it in the sunniest place you have, and start things about a month before the last frosts come to your climate. When the earth outside is at least 60 degrees, you can transplant the seedlings.
Why Should I Grow Peanuts?
Growing peanuts can be fun and educational for your kids. It can provide you with abundant and cheap nutrition. Whether you grow them yourself or buy them off the shelf, peanuts are a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also packed with healthy fats that help you feel full and satisfied.
Hopefully, you’re now hungry for some peanuts! Why not grab one of America’s iconic nuts and seeds, the peanut, today and enjoy the benefits of peanuts!