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The US Consumes Over 90% Of The World’s Cashews


National Nut Day is observed annually on October 22.

Nuts are a highly prized food and energy source and are a primary source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife.   Many of them are used in cooking, eaten raw, sprouted or roasted as a snack food and pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics.

Many nuts are excellent sources of vitamins E and B2. They are also rich in protein, folate fiber and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.

One study has shown that people who ate nuts lived two to three years longer than those who did not. Those who were consuming nuts may have been eating less junk food leading to a longer lifespan.

  • True nuts include pecan, sweet chestnut, beech, acorns, hazel, hornbeam and alder.
  • Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, horse chestnuts and pine nuts are not nuts.
  • Squirrels forget where they hide about half of their nuts.
  • If you want to harvest nuts from the wild, you will actually be doing what is known as “foraging”.
  • You need to eat nuts raw for them to have the most impact on your health, but roasted are fine, too.
  • Walnuts are the oldest known tree food — they date all the way back to 10,000 BC.
  • If you love almonds as much as we do, thank bumblebees! Almonds can’t grow on their own. They need bees to help them pollinate.
  • The shell of the cashew is toxic and can’t be eaten. Cashews are in the same plant family as poison ivy and poison sumac and their itchy oil is primarily contained in their shell.
  • Pistachio is known as the “smiling nut” in Iran and the “happy nut” in China.
  • Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter and with six cities in the US named Peanut, it’s safe to say America loves this popular nut butter
  • Ancient Greeks believed hazelnuts could treat coughing and baldness.
  • Pistachios get their green color from the same pigment that colors spinach and kale
  • Pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw in order to preserve the healthy fats


  • Peanuts:  Originating in Brazil and Peru and introduced to America by early explorers, the peanut is primarily grown in China, West Africa and the United States.  Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma are our key producing states, with Suffolk, Virginia laying claim to being the peanut capital of the world.  Peanuts vary in size and variety.
  • Pecans:  This truly American nut is principally grown in the Southern and Southwestern United States, and in the countries of Mexico, Israel and South Africa.
  • Almonds:  Almonds have been eaten plain and candied since they were introduced into Roman life.  Native to the Mediterranean countries, the almond was introduced to America from Spain in 1769.
  • Cashews:  Native to Brazil and the West Indies, the cashew is chiefly grown in India, Brazil, East Africa, Mozambique and Kenya.  The United States consumes over 90% of the world’s cashew crop.
  • Filberts:  Known as hazelnuts or cobnuts, filberts are grown in Turkey, Iran, Spain and the United States.  Early settlers introduced the filbert to America in the 1600’s.
  • Walnuts:  The California walnut is a descendant of the Persian walnut.  Native to Persia, the Greeks called the walnut “the nut of Jupiter,” fit for the gods.  California is the major growing area of walnuts in the United States, along with France, Italy, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Romania, China and India.
  • Brazil Nuts:  Brazil nuts are grown in the Amazon area.  The Brazil nut trees grow to a height of 150 feet and have a trunk diameter of nearly eight feet.  The three to four pound pods of Brazil nuts fall to the ground when ripe, which makes gathering them a very dangerous occupation
  • Pistachios:  Ninety percent of all pistachios are grown in Turkey and Iran, with Italy, Afghanistan and the United States (California) making up the remainder of the crop.  Pistachios thrive in hilly or mountainous regions with poor, stony soils.  They grow in heavy, grape-like clusters from trees that reach a height of 25 to 30 feet.  The tree produces for about 300 years.
  • Macadamias:  The macadamia, originating in Australia, was discovered around 1857, but was not harvested until the 1930’s.  The macadamia is one of the rarest nuts, and with their superb flavor-so very rich and so buttery, it is cherished as a rare and special delicacy.


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