By Clint Thompson
U.S. Congressman Austin Scott expressed optimism about peanuts and its future as a nutritional necessity for consumers.
Speaking during a conference call on Friday about the different components of the recently-passed CARES Act amid the coronavirus pandemic, Scott, who represents the 8th Congressional District in Georgia, talked about one of Georgia’s top agricultural commodities and the impact it’ll play with increased nutritional programs in the coronavirus relief bill.
“I think you’ll see peanuts get as much preferential treatment as any other product, for example, dairy may be given. As far as USAID type programs go, companies like Mana and other things, use peanuts by choice because of the amount of protein and the amount of nutrition that you get and the storage capability of the product,” Scott said. “I think peanuts will continue to do well in those areas.”
According to the Georgia Peanut Commission, peanuts contain 26 percent protein. They fulfill approximately 30% of a 4-6-year old’s and 26% of a 7-10-year old’s Recommended Daily Allowance per serving. Protein is a valuable source of energy and contains six essential vitamins.
Peanuts, a $2 billion industry, are one of Georgia’s major row crops. Georgia produced 53% of the United States’ peanuts in 2018, which amounted to more than 1.45 million tons.
Sanford Bishop, who represents Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District reiterated his colleague’s sentiments about peanuts.
“Peanut butter, certainly continues to be and always will be an acceptable food item on all of USDA’s nutrition program list and I expect that peanut butter peanuts will continue to be a staple in households everywhere in the country,” Bishop said. “I suspect that we can expect peanuts to continue to play the role that it has always played particularly at this time of crisis.”