Commissioner Hugh Weathers: National Peanut month

March is National Peanut Month and peanuts are a staple in South Carolina, both as a crop and as a snack! SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers is here to tell us more.

  • SC is home to over 600 peanut farmers
  • Average 87,000 acres last year
  • We grow two varieties of peanuts in SC
  • Sixty percent are runners, which are used in peanut butter and other processed foods.
  • The rest are Virginia peanuts, the ones we roast and eat as snacks
  • Peanut Parity Act
    • The Peanut Standards Board is made up of peanut industry members from the three production regions appointed by the Secretary. The Board recommends to the Secretary any changes they may approve to the US peanut quality standards.  When initially set up by Congress in 2002, the Virginia-Carolina region was defined for Board membership purposes as the states of Virginia and North Carolina.  The Parity Act adds South Carolina as an eligible VC area state for membership.
  • MIND Diet
    • MIND stands for Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay
    • According to The Peanut Institute’s research director, Dr. Samara Sterling, the MIND diet can prevent mental decline. Foods that are rich in brain-healthy nutrients, like dark green leafy vegetables, berries and peanuts, are called “brain foods.” Eating more of those foods is good for us, mentally and physically.
    • Since peanuts are excellent sources of niacin and good sources of vitamin E., the MIND diet recommends eating five or more servings of nuts (including peanuts) each week. They go so far as to suggest eating a handful of peanuts, or two tablespoons of peanut butter, almost every day, or better yet, every day.
  • New favorite recipe in the Weathers household: fried peanuts that Ms. Blanche makes!