Dispelling Myths about the Nut Industry

January 4, 2017

Peanuts and tree nuts are a critical part of our country’s safe and healthy food supply, and they have a major impact on our nation’s economy. The Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association’s mission is to proactively advance the nut industry through professional networks, advocacy and education. Tropical Foods is a proud member of PTNPA and one of our owners, Angela Bauer, is on the Board of Directors.

The PTNPA recently completed a research study on some of the myths and facts about the nut industry. As with any industry, there are always myths and assumptions associated with it. The PTNPA takes seriously its duty to dispel these myths and promote the valuable role peanuts and tree nuts play in society, health and wellness. A few myths about peanuts and tree nuts are below and you can review the full list of myths and facts HERE.

MYTH:
The agricultural industry is considered to be more focused on crop production than healthy pollinators.

FACT:
Honeybee and beneficial insect health is an issue that tree nut producers care about deeply. Producers understand the vital role that pollinators, including honeybees, play in our food supply. In fact, honeybees and almond trees depend on each other: almond blossoms are a nutritious food source for honeybees, while almond trees rely on honeybees for pollination. For example, when the threat to honeybee health became apparent, almond producers acted quickly to adopt best management practices that protect the health of this valuable natural resource.

These include:
• New guidelines for more careful fungicide applications
• No insecticide applications during almond bloom
• Integrated pest management to minimize agriculture sprays
• Clear communication with all parties, particularly beekeepers

The decline in bee health is a complex issue linked to a variety of factors, and the tree nut industry is determined to find and implement new solutions that support healthy pollinator populations. This commitment is nothing new; since 1995, the Almond Board of California has invested nearly $1.3 million in honeybee health research.


MYTH:

Peanut and tree nut allergies are perceived as common and increasing.

FACT:
All types of food allergies in children are increasing, but fortunately peanut and nut allergies are still relatively rare. The nut industry never intends for anyone to be harmed by its products and takes allergy concerns very seriously. Fortunately, more than 98% of children in the United States can enjoy peanuts and tree nuts without issues — making nut allergies less prevalent than milk and egg allergies in children. But the rise in childhood food allergies isn’t isolated to nuts alone, with total food allergies in children increasing approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011. Scientists are working to determine what causes food allergies and the nut industry is following every development on this topic. For example, the recent LEAP study demonstrates that regular consumption of peanuts starting at an early age can prevent peanut allergy development. The industry is committed to education and promotion of reasonable, responsible management of food allergies.

 

MYTH:
Dieters trying to lose weight may think nuts are fatty, high-calorie foods.

FACT:
Nuts are part of the weight management solution. One out of every three adult Americans is obese, part of an ongoing and very serious health challenge facing the United States. While there is no quick fix for this problem, exercise and healthy eating are key components of reducing weight. Peanuts and tree nuts are part of the weight management solution, fitting the profile of a health food when consumed in recommended portions as great snacking options or healthy culinary ingredients. In fact, peanuts and tree nuts are nutrient-dense foods, with peanuts containing seven grams of protein in every ounce and almonds containing 6 grams per ounce. Nuts are also high in fiber and have plenty of good fats. Research shows that fiber and protein help promote a feeling of fullness, and feeling full can help reduce the excessive snacking that contributes to obesity.

You can read the full list of myths and facts HERE.

Tags: agriculture, honeybees, nut allergies, nut facts, nut industry, nut myths, peanut allergies, PTNPA, sustainability

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