Spreadworthy Peanut Butter Facts
How much do you know about the creamy or crunchy All-American staple found in nearly everyone’s pantry? Discover more about the peanuts that go into peanut butter and the farmers who grow them.
Peanuts = America’s Favorite Nut
- Americans eat more than 7 pounds of peanuts per person each year – more than 4 times as much as any other nut.
- Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter per person every year – enough PB to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon.
- More than 90 percent of American homes have a jar of peanut butter in the pantry.
Peanut Butter = Delicious + Healthy
- Peanut butter is 127 years old! It was developed in 1890 and promoted as a health food at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
- By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the U.S. must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
- Peanut butter is so versatile you can find it in every meal from breakfast to dinner and every snack from a healthy protein bar to a decadent dessert.
- Peanuts have 7 grams of protein per serving – more than any other nut.
- Just a handful of peanuts a day may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet.
Peanut (Butter) Farming 101
- Runner peanuts are preferred for peanut butter because they have the strongest peanut flavor and are uniform in size so they roast evenly before grinding.
- Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi peanut farmers grow mostly runner peanuts.
- The Southeast region produces about 65 percent of all American-grown peanuts.
- Approximately 5,500 Southeastern farmers grow more than 1.15 million acres of peanuts.
- Peanut farming has a nearly $2.5 billion annual impact on the Southeastern economy.
- One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
- The peanut plant is unusual because it flowers above the ground, but fruits below the ground.
- Peanuts are harvested 120-180 days after planting, usually in September and October.
- Peanuts have a natural ability to fix nitrogen from the air and ground so farmers don’t have to apply fertilizer – and they leave some nitrogen behind for other crops.
- Two former U.S. Presidents were peanut farmers: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
- Many believe George Washington Carver founded peanut butter – while he did not, he led an extraordinary life and is recognized as the father of the peanut industry because he convinced farmers to grow peanuts as part of the new crop rotation method of farming and invented many other uses for peanuts like cooking oil and axle grease.