The world was caught off guard in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Peanuts proved to be a necessity to many Americans during this uncertain time. According to the National Peanut Board, March 2020 peanut butter sales increased 75% over the previous year, and per capita consumption of peanuts increased to 7.6 pounds in 2020 – an all-time high!
Peanuts have the most protein of any nut – 7 grams per 1 ounce serving. They contain more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals, good fiber and good fats. It takes a small serving of peanuts to reap huge benefits on your health. Eating a 1 ounce serving of peanuts a day can help reduce your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer.
This superfood is also sustainable and leaves a small carbon footprint. Peanuts are a “zero-waste” plant, even the hulls are utilized. It takes only 4.7 gallons of water to grow 1 ounce of peanuts – that’s less than any other comparable sources of nutrition. Peanuts improve the soil because they are nitrogen fixing, which means they take nitrogen from the air and produce their own in the ground, benefiting other crops grown in the same soil.
Throughout 2020, our peanut farmers still managed to plant another nutritious and affordable food crop to feed our nation. Alabama ranked second in the nation in pounds of peanuts harvested. Farming is a risk-taking profession. Even with new technologies and innovations, it takes faith to plant a peanut seed in the spring and wait to reap the harvest in the fall.
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” Ecclesiastes 11:4
Our peanut farmers will tell you that the reward of harvesting a nutritional, affordable and delicious food crop outweighs the risks, and that makes them our SUPERHEROS.