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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, we celebrate Peanut Butter Lover’s Month with facts about the beloved legume.


CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.

(Music up and under: "Peanut. Peanut butter, and a jelly joe. Peanut. Peanut butter...)

CURWOOD: As Americans munch their way through Thanksgiving's never-ending turkey leftovers, a peanut butter sandwich may sound like a welcome change. November is Peanut Butter Lover's Month, after all, so indulge. Peanuts are an excellent source of non-animal protein, though sitting down to carve a peanut butter ball on Thanksgiving hasn't quite caught on. Peanuts aren't really nuts at all. They're legumes whose seeds grow underground. Bacteria on the plant's roots take nitrogen from the air and convert it to food for the plant. These so-called nitrogen fixers are good for replenishing soil. So, in the early 1900's, George Washington Carver advised southern farmers to rotate peanut crops through their fields. Today, your average American eats about six pounds of peanuts every year, half of that in the form of peanut butter. That's enough of the sticky stuff to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon. And if you find all this talk of peanut butter disturbing, you may suffer from arachibutyrophobia. That's the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. And for this week, that's the -- (swallows) -- Living on Earth Almanac.



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