Greg Gill is a passionate peanut farmer who’s quick to laugh and to make a friend. He travels with koozies emblazoned in bright orange with his farm’s name, ready to pass out to virtually everyone he meets—from Napa Valley, California to his hometown of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
Forty states are expected to have water shortages over the next ten years. U.S. communities are starting to face both quality and supply issues, unrelated to drought, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). America’s agriculture sector accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. water consumption, according to the USDA.
And peanuts are the most water efficient of all nuts, using only 4.7 gallons of water to produce one serving (1 ounce) compared to almonds, for example, which use 80.4 gallons per ounce. Worldwide peanut production contributes to just 1 percent of the global water footprint, which is the measure of water used to produce goods and services.
“Southern food is more than fried chicken and biscuits,” said Virginia Willis, James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and Editor-at-Large for Southern Living magazine and author of the popular column “Cooking with Virginia.” Though many people associate Southern food with deep fried and butter-laden meals, Willis argues that misperception overlooks the rich cultural history and agricultural nature of the cuisine. She sees the regional fare as a wholesome way to use fresh, local ingredients, like peanuts; and she’s helping others rethink Southern food.
I stroll into the market and my senses are overwhelmed in the best way possible – the newly harvested vegetables bursting with color, the three-man band playing joyful folk music, and the aroma of freshly baked breads and pastries combined with the delightful fragrance looming from the flower stand. I’m greeted with a warm smile from two farmers who have been awake at least four hours longer than me.
Sustainability isn’t just essential to farmers and consumers, it’s also vital for businesses. MARS is one of the world's leading chocolate manufacturers, which means that it can have a big impact on making sustainable choices in business, the environment and communities. Many US peanut farmers grow the peanuts used in your favorite MARS products like Snickers and M&M'S Peanut.
Sustainability isn’t just essential to farmers and consumers, it’s also vital for businesses. The Hershey Company is one of the largest chocolate companies in North America, which means that it can have a big impact on making sustainable choices in business, the environment and communities. Many US peanut farmers grow the peanuts used in your favorite Hershey products like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, PayDay candy bars, Mr. Goodbar and Nutrageous. We asked Hershey’s Mark Kline, senior manager of peanut sourcing, and Deb Arcoleo, director of product transparency, about sustainability at the Hershey Company and how peanuts play a role.
Farmers are the backbone of our country. They spend long days tending to their crops and the land so they can produce safe, abundant and affordable products. Many farmers across America choose to grow peanuts because they are the most sustainable nut.
What makes them that way? Peanuts are nature’s “zero waste” plant, meaning from the roots to the hulls, no part of the plant goes to waste. Peanuts require less water and have the smallest carbon footprint of any nut, making them a viable option for farmers. Peanut plants have a unique ability to improve soil and benefit other crops.
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