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One of the most versatile and beloved American food icons is the peanut, also known as a goober pea.
Baseball games, fairs, circuses, and theatres are places where unsuspecting Americans get the craving of this inexpensive snack. It is easy to be tempted to eat one peanut after another. This is especially true if they are salted or coated in caramel.
The peanut is more closely related to peas than to nuts. Peanuts are often called groundnuts because their pods are developed underground. There are usually two seeds in most peanut pods. These seeds are what we call peanuts.
Peanuts are a nutritious foods. According to the United States Department of Agriculture peanuts contain about 26.0% protein, 47.5% fat, 18.6% carbohydrates, 5.6% water and 2.3% other. Actually, there is more energy in either roasted peanuts or peanut butter than in an equal weight steak.
Peanuts are among the most common allergy-causing foods. There are three million peanut allergy sufferers in the United States. Peanut allergies among children are on the rise. Common products that can contain peanuts include marsipan, chili, egg rolls, candy, baked goods, and Chinese and Thai dishes.
More foods to avoid
A peanut seed consists of almost 50 percent oil. Not only is the peanut oil used for frying foods, but also as an ingredient in soaps, face powders, shaving creams, shampoos, and paints.
Today peanuts are a welcome addition to many families' diet. Their nutritional value, plus their wonderful taste, will encourage peanuts to continue to be a well-used crop.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff