National Nut Day, which falls on October 22, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the humble nut. They’re healthy, protein-packed, and portable, making them the perfect snack for traveling. They can also help weight loss, reduce appetite, lower bad cholesterol, and even extend life by lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. Here are a few more reasons to love nuts and National Nut Day, especially if you’re a traveler.
Raising Awareness of Fair Trade
National Nut Day is celebrated in both the United States and the United Kingdom, but the origins of the holiday are unclear. In the UK, it is largely championed by Liberation Foods, which uses the opportunity to highlight small-scale nut farmers and fair trade practices. The farmer co-ops that supply Liberation’s nuts are based everywhere from Malawi to Nicaragua, and collectively own 44% of the company. The Fairtrade Certification ensures the farmers get compensated fairly and have good working conditions, and the label is worth seeking out on package labeling.
Boosting American Agriculture
In the United States, nuts are not only popular, but are also an essential agricultural product. In 2010, Americans ate nearly four pounds of nuts per capita, and most of them were home-grown. Almost 90% of all nuts in the United States, and nearly all almonds, come from California. And American almonds are taking over the worldwide market as well. Nearly 75% of the world’s almonds come from the United States, and they are the leading horticultural export commodity by value.
Nutty Travel Destinations
American nut farms are great side trips to work into travel plans, and make fun and interesting destinations in their own right. On a trip to LA or San Diego, try an excursion to Bates Nut Farm, which has been a family walnut farm since 1921. They’ve expanded their produce to other areas, but they still offer tours that demonstrate the planting, harvesting, and roasting of local nuts. A trip to Hawaii can also offer a closer look at the macadamia nut, a quintessential Hawaiian flavor. Head to the island of Molokai to explore the 5 acre farm of Purdy’s Natural Macadamia Nuts and try some Macadamia Blossom Honey or Nut Oil in addition to the fresh nuts.
The huge versatility of nuts, as well as their health value and portability, makes them the best possible travel snack. They’re filling, high in protein, and can be incorporated into both sweet and savory snacks or meals. Keep in mind that 1-2 ounces is an ideal serving size, and then let imagination take over. Branch out and try a new kind, such as brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or walnuts. Incorporate nuts into bars or trail mix, or roast them with curry or chipotle for a savory kick. Nut butters also travel well, and can be paired with toast, crackers, or fruit. Use National Nut Day as inspiration to explore new nutty possibilities, and travel in good taste and good conscience.