What You May Not Know About Peanuts
Peanuts are very popular around the world. Globally, about 29 million metric tons are harvested every year. They are used in a number of cuisines and there are a ton of peanut recipes on just about every continent. Peanut butter is incredibly popular as well. It can be found in at least 94% of all homes in the United States. If you enjoy peanuts at a baseball game or other places you may be interested in how and where are peanuts grown. Here is some interesting information about the humble peanut.
Where Are Peanuts Grown?
Peanuts like warm climates. As a consequence, they are generally grown in the warmer areas of Africa, North and South America, Australia, and Asia. The only who continents who cannot be listed under the “where are peanuts grown” are Europe and Antartica. Together, India and China produce more than half of the peanuts harvested on the planet. While the United States produces about 10% of the world’s food supply, it only accounts for 3% of the peanut acreage devoted to the plant. That shows how effective the American system for growing them is. Some of the main countries that are where peanuts are grown are Sudan, Senegal, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Malawi, and South America.
When you think about where peanuts are grown in the United States, the answer is Texas, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Georgia produces 42% of the peanuts grown in the country.
One interesting fact about this is that the country even elected a peanut farmer from Georgia. Jimmy Carter started his career as a peanut farmer, before serving in the Georgia State Senate, as governor of the state and then winning the presidency in 1976. He sold his peanut farm before he took office in 1977.
There are different types of peanut.
There are a number of members of the peanut family. While there are a lot of kinds of peanuts, there are only four that are used in peanut products around the world. They are the Virginia peanut, Spanish peanut, Runner peanut and the Valencia peanut.
- The Virginia Peanut: These have the biggest kernels of all of the kinds of peanuts. The majority of peanuts that are processed and roasted while still in the shell. Peanuts that are eaten for snacks or used for peanut butter are typically Virginia peanuts.
- The Runner Peanut: These are more uniform in the size of the kernels. Since they were first introduced in the 1970s, they have become the predominant peanut grown around the United States and at least 80% of all peanuts produced in the country are Runner peanuts. About 54% of the peanut butter made in America comes from this kind of peanut.
- The Spanish Peanut: These have small kernels that are coated with a brownish-red skin. They are used most often to make peanut candy but can also be used in peanut butter. The fact that they a higher oil content makes them great for the production of peanut oil. When they are roasted, it is said they have the nuttiest flavor of all of the main kinds of peanuts.
- The Valencia Peanut: A Valencia peanut shell will have between three or four kernels that are very small. The skin of them is a very bright red. These have a very sweet flavor. Most of the time, they are roasted in the shell and sold that way. If you travel anywhere in the southern part of the United States during the summer, you will see boiled peanuts, one of the most popular peanut products in the country, all over. If you get some, keep your pronunciation in mind. When people there talk about them the “ed” is silent.
Peanuts are healthier than you may think.
A lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about peanuts, for example, many people cannot answer the questions, “where are peanuts grown?” Other misconceptions are around how healthy they are to eat. They are packed with vitamins and protein. One serving gives you seven ounces of protein. They are also packed with Vitamins A, E, and folate. They have a lot of zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
They have tons of dietary fiber.
Lastly, peanuts are not really nuts at all, they are legumes!