Peanuts. Photo curtesy of Microsoft clip art.


The peanut is currently found in many places around the world, including North America,Peanut seller. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Asia, and Africa. However, it hasn't always been that way. Most scientists agree that the peanut originated in South America and grew, both as a crop and in the wild, for millennia. Then, explorers from Europe arrived and took the peanut with them when they returned home. From there, the peanut spread across Europe and to Africa and Asia. It did not reach North America until it arrived with the slave ships. Now that the peanut has spread across the globe, it is grown in most tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions. The leading peanut producer is China with 37.5% of the world's peanut crop, with India, the United States of America (primarily the South East), Argentina, Vietnam, and West Africa following behind.

Map with some of the world's biggest peanut producers colored in green. Blank map provided by Wikimedia Commons, map colored by Veronica Steinmetz.

Although the peanut probably used to grow in the wild, it is now primarily grown as an agricultural crop. It is grown and eaten all over the world and is at staple food in Africa, a continent that is often known for its starvation problems, among others.


How does it survive?

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