Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Going Nuts over Peanuts?

President Jimmy Carter, oldest living U.S. president, prolific writer, founder of the Carter Center, born-again Christian, Habitat for Humanity volunteer…and peanut farmer.   Peanuts.

Jimmy Carter - photo

The food that may explode my beloved Mike’s head.

When Jimmy Carter became president, he used his influence to slow and stop the import of peanuts into the United States through regulations and absolute quotas.  The quotas have eased but the regulations have not.

Mind you…some regulations are important.  For example, testing for aflatoxins, a naturally occurring byproduct on agriculture products (including peanuts) produced by certain fungi and can cause cancer in humans.

Although Europe has a stricter import codes on aflatoxins, it is easier to import to the European Union than to the United States.

To enter the United States, peanuts have to be warehoused to be inspected.  Aflatoxins are measured as well as the size of the peanuts, the uniformity of the peanuts, and on and on it goes… what does size and uniformity have anything to do with the safety of a product?  Businesses who want the peanuts should have that say… and the businesses our peanuts go to are going to make organic peanut butter out of them!

Mike says the United States’ book of regulations on peanuts is about 2-3 inches thick.

So why grow peanuts to export to the United States?

1. They are a great rotation crop, because peanuts are legumes, they put nitrogen back into the soil.

2. U.S. businesses wanting to support subsistence organic farmers will buy the peanuts to supplement what they buy from elsewhere.

3. Organic peanuts are a good cash crop to make some profit when they fit the numerous regs.

All those silly regulations are set to just make it harder to bring peanuts into the United States and make it harder for subsistence organic farmers to get paid so that they can provide for their families… and make Mike’s head explode.


NOTE: If you are reading this blog using the mobile version, click on "web version" to see the full blog with all the features including "subscribe to blog by email".  Please join us and also share on your social media.

Donate here to the ongoing work of the CDCA in Nicaragua with organic farmers: