I am not nuts about peanuts! They are not even a nut. They are a legume…a bean. Actually, they are the seed of a legume. Before I get too deep into all the reasons I cringe when my clients tell me they eat peanuts, check out this email I got last week from a friend in Georgia:
“I noticed today, the farmer who leases our property “burning” his empty peanut seed bags. Every time he would fill his planter hoppers he would burn the empty bags on the spot. I happened upon this partially burned seed bag label that was laying in one of the ash piles at the end of a row. I scanned it for you to read and tell me if you think the peanut butter you’re eating is safe?????”
1) Peanuts contain lectins, an anti-nutrient that damages the lining of the intestine.
2) Peanuts are listed near the top of “Most Common Food Allergens” by the FDA.
3) Out of all “nuts” they are the most susceptible to to a mold that produces a mycotoxin called aflatoxin, which is a dangerous carcinogen.
4) Peanuts are high in omega 6, an essential fatty acid we Americans over consume, it causes inflammation, among other things.
5) 99% of the peanuts in the US are grown conventionally, not organically. See the label above to understand what that means!
6) From 1997-2002 peanut allergies doubled. This is also the time period that GMO (genetically modified), peanuts came on the market.
7) To stop mold growth on peanuts fungicides are used. These fungicides disrupt the endocrine system and when given to animals they have been shown to effect not only the offspring of pregnant lab mice, but also their offspring’s offspring, and another generation beyond that.
I try not to use scare tactics when writing my blog, and I try to focus on the positive, but peanuts simply don’t have many redeeming qualities. My advice is to choose REAL nuts, and nut butters, such as macadamias, almonds, and walnuts. Make sure they are simply nuts, not roasted, and with no added oils. If you still insist on eating peanuts and peanut butter be sure to wear “a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and chemical resistant gloves”, or at least buy organic!