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The List: 5 facts about peanuts

February is National Peanut Month
Don’t experience shell shock when National Peanut Month begins this week.

To help you prepare for National Peanut Month — which the National Peanut Board declares each March — here are five facts about the versatile legume.

1. George Washington Carver didn’t invent peanut butter. The trailblazing African-American agricultural scientist — who was featured on postages stamps in 1948 and 1998 — didn’t create the famous spread, despite popular myth. At least three men, including breakfast cereal pioneer John Harvey Kellogg, are credited with inventing the product.

2. It takes a lot of peanuts to make butter. There are approximately 540 peanuts in every 12-ounce jar of peanut butter, according to the National Peanut Board. That works out to about 45 peanuts per ounce.

3. The “Peanuts” comic strip almost had a different name. In 1950 — long before Charlie Brown and his gang were featured on USPS holiday stamps — creator Charles Schulz wanted to name his strip “Li’l Folks.” United Feature Syndicate honchos worried the name sounded too much like “Little Folks,” a cartoon popular in the 1930s, so the new title — a nod to a term kids used at the time — was used.

4. Two former American presidents were nuts for peanuts. Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter both were peanut farmers. Jefferson was the first U.S. president known to grow peanuts, while Carter was well known for his ownership of a peanut farm. Carter began selling peanuts at age 5.

5. There are rules for mailing peanut oil. If you’re thinking about shipping peanut oil in the mail, make sure you follow the guidelines in the Domestic Mail Manual for mailing liquids.

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