You’ve probably heard about the most recent Salmonella outbreak. The culprit this time seems to be a batch of infected peanut butter, of all things. In his blog, Bill Marler deduces that the most probable cause is rodent or bird poop finding it’s way into a mix at the manufacturing facility.
While this is an unfortunate incident, don’t let it deter you from enjoying the many health benefits of peanuts and peanut butter.
Now for some interesting peanut facts, nutrition and buying tips.
What you need to know:
1. Americans consume 700 million pounds of peanut butter annually, about three pounds per person!
2. Peanuts are technically legumes (like beans), not nuts.
3. One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
4. Peanuts are a new world food, probably originating in Brazil and working their way up to Mexico. The Aztecs mashed them into a paste as early as 500 years ago.
5. 75% of homes in the US have a peanut butter jar.
6. 60% of the peanuts in the US are grown in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Half are used for peanut butter.
7. Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which help reduce the risk of heart disease.
8. Peanut butter is a good source of protein. Just 2 tablespoon’s worth provide more than 10% of the daily recommended value. Those same 2 Tablepoons also provide 200 calories.
9. Peanut butter is also a good source of vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, and dietary fiber.
10. Animals like it too. Peanut butter is considered an effective bait for mouse traps. (hmmn … maybe this explains the salmonella?)
What to do at the supermarket:
Look for peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils (code for trans fat). Sugar should not be an ingredient either. You’ll get enough sweet from the jelly in your sandwich instead. The ideal ingredient list includes just one item – peanuts.