The humble peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich could save the world, according to The PB&J Campaign, an online effort that claims eating peanut butter is a good way to help the environment. The next time you chow down on a PB&J instead of a hamburger, says the site, which disavows any connection to the peanut industry, you’ll save as much as 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 280 gallons of water, and 50 square feet of land.
This isn’t a radical concept: In 2006, the United Nations denounced cattle farming as the greatest threat to the climate, forests, and wildlife, accounting for 18 percent of greenhouse gases, which is more than cars, planes, and all other forms of transport put together.
But there are also health reasons to eat peanut butter—that is, if nuts don’t make you go into anaphylactic shock.
Women who ate peanut butter five days a week had a 20 percent lower risk of developing diabetes, compared with those who didn’t nosh on the spread, according to a 2002 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Meanwhile, resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that peanuts and red wine both share, has been associated with lower cardiovascular risk, according to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
One vital question still remains, however: Smooth or chunky?