The Carolina African Runner peanut, once thought extinct, re-emerges, giving farmers and chefs a new culinary adventure. At Clemson University’s Coastal Research and Education Lab, horticulturist Dr. Brian Ward stands for hours at a time carefully hand sorting, shelling and cleaning a small, distinctive and somewhat celebrated peanut known as the Carolina African Runner peanut. And like most rare finds, it has a story behind it.
Peanut breeders are thinking small and innovating with peanut seeds to improve the sustainability of peanut production. Developing new varieties that maximize peanuts’ already sustainable traits can help reduce the environmental impact of peanut farming, make production more cost-effective for farmers and make peanuts one of the most sustainable crops.
We hear about sustainability a lot these days. But what does sustainability mean to peanut farmers? To some peanut farmers it’s taking care of their land for their future grandchildren, or making sure they stay in business each year to feed their family and community. But in a nutshell, sustainability means enriching the land, our communities and people’s health.
Peanuts are one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly food sources available today. A feature of its growing cycle — self-pollination — makes peanuts environmentally friendly.
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