Last week I had the opportunity to head down south to Georgia for few days to tour how Georgia Peanuts are harvested. This was such an amazing experience. Not only did we see the harvesting process, but we also learned about the science behind the crop, and got to visit the facilities where the harvested peanuts go for quality check, weighing and purchasing by manufacturers. We were also able to visit the shelling factory along with the blanching facility.
I think my favorite part about the learning process was visiting the peanut farms. You just see the passion and love that these farmers have for their crops. A lot of these farms have been passed down from generations. It’s a beautiful thing to see and to understand the hard work that goes behind this process. For me it’s not just a bag of peanuts anymore it’s hard work and sweat to bring these delicious little legumes to our homes.
Speaking of farmers let me introduce you to Casey Cox, a farmer from Mitchell County. Casey is a sixth-generation farmer on her family’s 3,400 acres of land, including a rotating 280 acres of which will be planted in peanuts each year. Casey is delighted to be working in an industry that the entire country seems to love.
“It is truly incredible to produce a crop that is such a staple of the American diet,” Casey said. “I eat peanut butter every day, and the knowledge of how that product is grown and where it is derived is a source of pride. I will never grow tired of watching – or smelling – the peanut harvest. ~ Casey
Some interesting facts. The peanut flower is produced on a slender stalk near the base of the plant. The peanut flower is produced on a slender pedicel near the base of the plant. A peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea) that has been pulled out of the ground to show the subterranean, seed-bearing, dry fruit (called a pod).
-Georgia produced 50% of the United States’ peanuts in 2017 – more than 1.79 million tons.
– Georgia farmers harvested 825,000 acres, yielding an average of 4,353 pounds per acre.
– Georgia farmers planted peanuts in more than 75 counties in Georgia.
– Georgia has approximately 4,700 peanut farmers.
– Georgia peanuts accounted for 23% of the state’s row and forage crops income.
– The peanut industry contributes more than 50,000 jobs in Georgia.
– Peanuts are Georgia’s Official State Crop.
The University of Georgia Peanut Team produces a Peanut Update every year for growers. The update provides information for the 2018 production season focusing on peanut breeding, insect management, disease update, Peanut Rx and weed control. The publication
is made possible through funding from the Georgia Peanut Commission.
Milked Peanuts™ officially made its debut in 2018 from Elmhurst, which opens up a new product category for the peanut industry. Milked Peanuts™ has 31 peanuts per eight-ounce glass and uses runner peanuts with no emulsifiers or additives. The product contains filtered water, peanuts, cane sugar, natural flavors and salt; while Milked Peanuts-Chocolate adds cocoa (Dutch-processed) to the ingredient list. Milked Peanuts and Milked Peanuts-Chocolate will be in thousands of retail stores in January, according to Elmhurst, including Walmart, Big Y in New England, Gelson’s Markets on the West Coast, Giant Eagle Supermarkets and The Fresh Market, both along the East Coast. Consumers also can buy the products online through Amazon, Walmart or Elmhurst’s website.
Peanut allergy prevention has been in the news frequently over the past two years with the completion of the groundbreaking LEAP study. Now the National Institutes of Health has published an addendum to the guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the U.S. The guidelines recommend the early introduction of peanut protein in infants between 4-6 months of age depeding on risk (low, medium or high) to prevent peanut allergy. They also provide ways to simply introduce peanuts to babies (through thinned peanut butter, peanut puffs or powdered peanut butter) and recommendations for how frequently infants who are at-risk for peanut allergy should eat peanut foods (at least 3 times per week). If a baby isn’t at risk for peanut allergy, parents can offer peanut foods as often as they would like.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but if you want to live longer, a handful of nuts may be a better bet, researchers reported recently. The biggest study yet into whether nuts can add years to your life shows that people who ate nuts every day were 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer or any other cause over 30 years than people who didn’t eat them.
We enjoyed some delicious meals throughout Georgia. Comfort food has a whole new meaning to me now. The food was fabulous. I don’t think I will ever enjoy Grits like that again unless I go back to visit. One last thing to all the fabulous women on this trip… you girls will forever have a place in my heart. Our laughs and getting to learn so much about all of you on our trips was so much fun. I love when we women come together and just really enjoy each other’s company.
Wait..wait I forgot one important person that kept us safe on the roads. Our bus driver Phil. He was a saint for dealing with all of us ladies. Thank you!
For more information on Georgia Peanuts visit http://www.gapeanuts.com