Peanut Butter for the Hungry


The peanut, while grown in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, is native to the Western Hemisphere. It probably originated in South America and spread throughout the New World as Spanish explorers discovered the peanut’s versatility. When the Spaniards returned to Europe, peanuts went with them. Later, traders were responsible for spreading peanuts to Asia and Africa. The peanut made its way back to North America on sailing ships in the 1700’s. Although there were some commercial peanut farms in the U.S. during the 1700’s and 1800’s, peanuts were not grown extensively. This lack of interest in peanut farming is attributed to the fact that the peanut was regarded as food for the poor and because growing and harvesting techniques were slow and difficult. Until the Civil War, the peanut remained basically a regional food associated with the southern U.S.

about peanuts-peanutsAfter the Civil War, the demand for peanuts increased rapidly. By the end of the nineteenth century, the development of equipment for production, harvesting and shelling peanuts, as well as processing techniques, contributed to the expansion of the peanut industry. The new twentieth century labor-saving equipment resulted in a rapid demand for peanut oil, roasted and salted peanuts, peanut butter and confections.

Current Legislation
The 2002 Farm Bill changed the peanut program drastically. A two-tiered price system with quota peanuts (sold in the domestic market) and additionals (sold in the export market) was ended and replaced with a market/loan....
Standards for U.S. Peanuts
All U.S. peanut handlers are obliged to follow the provisions set forth in the Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Agreement. This program is administered jointly by The Peanut....
U.S. Quality Control and Research
Consumers throughout the world are concerned about consistently obtaining flavorful, wholesome peanuts that are uniform in size and free from foreign material and contamination. The U.S. peanut industry continues to....
Export Peanut Market
World peanut production totals approximately 29 million metric tons per year, with the U.S. being the world’s third largest producer, after China and India. Worldwide peanut exports are approximately 1.25 million metric....
U.S. Peanut Supply
Unlike other countries where the end products are peanut oil, cake and meal, the prime market for U.S. peanuts is in edible consumption, and the marketing and production focus is in that direction. Only 15% of U.S.....
Custom Products and Processing
Over the past several years, United States processors and manufacturers have greatly expanded the range of specialized products available. American processors can meet individual specifications and can offer many new and....
Value-Added Products
New value-added products have been developed which have a number of applications including bakery, confectionery and the general consumer market. Among these are: Peanut Flour Made from raw peanuts which have been....
Shelling & Grading
After proper curing, farmers' stock peanuts (harvested peanuts that have not been shelled, cleaned or crushed) are inspected and graded to establish the quality and value of the product. The inspection process determines....