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Origins of the Peanut

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The Incas selected and developed peanuts from a wild ancestor 4000 years ago. The Spanish and Portuguese invaders carried the seeds to Africa, Asia and India where they quickly became part   of those peoples’ diets and a crucial ingredient in many recipes. They were reintroduced to the New World as a food for the people captured in Africa and sent to the Americas as slaves. It wasn’t until Dr. Carver began his campaign promoting peanuts that they became recognized as a healthy addition to the diet of all Americans. Peanut oil in recent years has become extremely popular as its high smoke point makes it perfect for frying those Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys. It’s a monounsaturated fat which lowers the bad LDL cholesterol and contain high levels of the antioxidant Vitamin E. 

Please note: in our original MIG Minute we said that the "bad" cholestoral was "HDL." We regret the error.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.