National Peanut Day

National Peanut DayNational Peanut Day

Celebrate this tasty and versatile legume on September 13th for National Peanut Day. Peanuts, originating in South America around 1500 BCE, are not actually nuts at all but legumes like beans, lentils, and peas, they just happen to grow underground from the roots instead of on the plant itself. 

Packed with protein, antioxidants, and other nutrients, peanuts spread to North America where they were long used as livestock feed before advances in technology allowed for easier cultivation.

The peanut began gaining popularity among the ranks of Civil War soldiers and in the stands of PT Barnum’s famous circus which began selling roasted peanuts to the crowds. Peanut butter was then introduced to the public at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

While many people mistakenly believe that peanut butter was invented by George Washington Carver, a formerly enslaved scientist with a degree in agricultural science from Iowa State University, that is one of the few things he didn’t think to do with peanuts. Carver invented over 100 ways of cooking peanuts as well as a number of other applications for the groundnut like plastics, cosmetics, and shaving cream. Carver is also credited with saving the livelihoods of many Southern farms by suggesting they grow peanuts after boll weevils had devastated cotton crops. 

So be sure to make a peanut butter sandwich or have a handful of this powerful legume for National Peanut Day on September 13th.

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