America’s most popular nut is good for our health, our planet and our economy.
Farmers are the backbone of our country. They spend long days tending to their crops and the land so they can produce safe, abundant and affordable products. Many farmers across America choose to grow peanuts because they are the most sustainable nut.
What makes them that way? Peanuts are nature’s “zero waste” plant, meaning from the roots to the hulls, no part of the plant goes to waste. Peanuts require less water and have the smallest carbon footprint of any nut, making them a viable option for farmers. Peanut plants have a unique ability to improve soil and benefit other crops.
Peanuts are not only a sustainable crop, but they are also a smart addition to healthy, sustainable diets. Lifestyles rich in plant-based foods support health and have less environmental impact than high calorie animal-based diets, according to the 2015 report from of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. In addition, peanuts are heart healthy and have the heart check from the American Heart Association. Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
The U.S. peanut industry plays a vital economic role nationally and locally. Peanut farmers are leaders in agricultural innovation and farming efficiency, using GPS technology and smartphones to control almost all aspects of their farm. Peanuts are the seventh most valuable crop in the U.S., with a farm value of more than $1 billion.
Aside from their contribution to the economy, peanuts help us fight hunger in communities of need, whether in the US or abroad. The American peanut industry works hard to feed the hungry domestically and around the globe. Peanut-based products (like RUTF) support food security and economic growth in the developing world.
Peanut farmers are proud of what they do and they know America relies on them for good, sustainable protein. “Love the land, respect your roots and give your best” is the motto of one peanut farming operation in Virginia.
In honor of National Ag Day, the National Peanut Board created a video that showcases the lives and work of three American peanut farming families. Whether they come from the Southeast, Southwest or Virginia/Carolina region, these families share a common story when it comes to growing the sustainable peanut.