Every day, thousands of press releases pour out to the media from corporations and organizations, mostly all intended to generate free publicity for new ideas or stuff.
Sometimes, they're just about a person or outfit getting a "prestigious award" from some dubious organization whose sole purpose seems to be distributing awards.
Today, it appears to be the peanut's turn for a press blitz - I have a news release from The Peanut Institute about how healthy they are.
Do we really need a news release about that? Haven't peanuts always been relatively good for us? Sure, they may contain a little fat, but it's the healthy kind. And isn't peanut farmer Jimmy Carter like 97?
Anyway, I got to wondering about The Peanut Institute. When I hear "institute," I picture something like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
So, I went looking for a photo of TPI. No luck. On the institute's website, I found their address to be a post office box in Albany, Georgia. Well, okay ... peanuts are a $2 billion industry in Georgia. And The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Peanuts does have a real address - 445 Fulwood Blvd. in Tifton.
Anyway ... back to the news flash.
Samara Sterling, Ph.D., director of research for The Peanut Institute, undisputedly pointed out that "Americans often make snack and meal decisions quickly without fully thinking about the nutritional makeup of what they're consuming." Not surprisingly, however, Dr. Samara notes that peanuts and peanut butter "are a convenient and healthy superfood choice that satisfy immediate hunger while delivering life-long benefits."
She's right as rain, as they say in Georgia. According to research, regularly scarfing down some peanuts has been shown to reduce Alzheimer's disease risk by 70%, cut diabetes risk by 53%, and drop cardiovascular disease risk by 13%. Plus, periodically pounding peanuts aids memory, cognitive function and concentration. Daily consumption, they say, can even help tone down anxiety and depression.
"A single serving of peanuts, which is about a handful, is packed with 19 vitamins and minerals and contains seven grams of plant-based protein," says Sterling.
In the news business, we sometimes refer to "burying the lede" ... putting the most important info late in the story. That's what the institute did in their news release, and what I've done here.
The best reason for adding more peanuts to your diet may be cost. Peanuts are pretty budget friendly - a handful costs about 15 cents. That's a pretty good deal in today's grocery stores.
To help you easily slide some peanuts and peanut butter into a busy schedule, the Peanut Institute's kitchens have worked up a collection of "simple yet tasty" recipes on their website peanutinstitute.com
We'll bet you haven't tried Carolina Peanut Butter Barbecue Sauce.