You or someone you know loves peanut butter. 94% of us have at least one jar of the stuff at home. And while peanut allergies can be very serious for the small minority of Americans who have it, actually the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases estimates that more than 98% of our kids actually can safely consume peanuts.
Whether you hate the stuff or you already have twenty peanut snack recipes in your recipe book, here?s some peanut butter trivia you might not know:
How Much Gets Eaten?
A lot. And by that, we mean a lot. Worldwide, peanut production is about 29 million metric tons every year, and Americans are eating more of it than anyone else. We eat six pounds of peanut products per person, per year!
How many peanuts is that? Well, given it takes about 540 peanuts to make one 12oz jar, quite a few. We eat the peanuts straight, we eat them in peanut butter, we add peanut protein powder to our shakes, and we have a zillion peanut snack recipes we love, too.
Do Peanuts Have a History?
Anything interesting has a history. Peanut history is no different. The peanut plant originated in South America, possibly with the Aztecs, and it was George Washington Carver, an American scientist, who really popularized the use of peanuts in the States. He came up with over 100 different products that could be made from this one plant! Among his peanut inventions were peanut milk, dyes, cosmetics, medicinal oils, wood stains, and paints.
Peanut butter first appeared in 1904, at the St. Louis World?s Fair. Good thing, too, as the average kid in the US will eat 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school. Peanuts are so important to America that two of our presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, were peanut farmers.
How Good Are They For You?
Before you roll out your peanut snack recipes, you may want to know if there are any benefits to eating peanuts. Are peanuts bad for you? When eaten in moderation, they have some great health benefits.
One ounce of peanuts has a whopping seven grams of protein, for example, and there are a lot of other nutrients in peanuts, too. They are one of the richest sources of biotin, and also contribute a lot of vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus to our diet. They have a number of antioxidants, too.
Of course, if your peanut snack recipes are loaded with sugar, you can’t exactly chow down and call it ?healthy? just because peanut butter has heart-healthy oleic oil in it. But eat them roasted and salted, or low-sugar peanut butter, and you can get a lot of the benefits without too much sugar.
Throw Me Some Random
Here?s a few random facts about peanuts that you can use to stun your friends at the next dinner party.
- There are four basic types of peanuts, and Texas is the only state that grows all four.
- Peanut oil can be stored for up to a whole year if it?s away from heat and light and well sealed.
- Peanuts are not nuts, which are things that grow on trees. They?re legumes, which grow underground.
- Eating them early in life can reduce your likelihood of developing a peanut allergy.
- Peanut shells have a lot of possible uses. They make excellent kindling, can be used for kitty litter, composted, or even make an eco-friendly packing material.
- If you have a terror of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth, there?s a word for that: arachibutyrophobia.
As far as we know, there?s no special word for fear of your dog getting peanut butter stuck on the roof of his mouth, so go ahead and share a spoonful with your favorite canine today.