Thursday, January 27, 2011

Peanuts: a green Delhi snack

Instead of buying a factory-packaged, oil-heavy snack, why not treat yourself to some environmentally friendly roasted peanuts this winter? In Delhi, Rs 10 buys you a small newspaper bag full of warm nuts. Nothing is better on a cold winter's day.

And peanuts are much better for the earth than a lot of other things you could be eating. In addition to the recycled/recyclable bag they come in, peanut cultivation uses a lot less water and produces a less carbon than meat-based foods with a comparable amount of protein.The PB&J Campaign, which encourages people to eat more peanut butter and less meat, has a lot of information on that. And peanuts are generally good for you, as long as you're not allergic to them. 

India trails only China in worldwide peanut production. Peanuts are so popular among farmers because they help 'fix' nitrogen in soil; they are thus used in rotation with crops (like corn and cotton) that require a lot of nitrogen. Don't get me wrong--peanuts are not without their environmental problems. I read a lot about peanut agriculture and a lot of what I read was...complicated, like most things in life. But I'm convinced that if you weigh the costs and the benefits, and compare peanuts with other comparably priced foods, you'll find they come out looking--and tasting--better than most!

More often than not, the best greentech is low-tech. To read more, read our low-tech green page.

17 comments:

  1. :) Rijuta Diwekar, the celebrity nutritionist is also a big advocate of peanuts.

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  2. Hey! Peanuts are amazing.
    will share some of the photographs of millets festival which I recently attended. Millet agriculture is being promoted as climate solution and farmer friendly

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  3. @Bano--That's good to here. I think peanuts had a bad reputation in some quarters for some time, but that is changing.
    @Kabir--There are few issues more important than alternatives to the current system of agriculture. When you look at our water woes in the big picture, how we grow what we eat wastes much more water than how we wash--or how we flush our food once digested! And climate change will force us to adjust, even if the falling water table doesn't.

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  4. was happy to see channa jor garam the other day being sold in paper cones in front of one Bangalore's big malls :)

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