Peanut
Scientific Name and Genus:
The peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea) is a species of plant in the legume family (Fabaceae). The genus is Arachis (Wikipedia, 2010).

Description:
Peanuts are a species of nuts that are grown from an annual plant. This plant grows to about 30 to 50cm tall (wikipedia, 2010)
The leaves of this plant are opposite, pinnate with four leaflets with each leaflet 1-7cm long and 1-3cm broad (wikipedia, 2010). The flowers of this plant are typically 2-4cm across and yellow with reddish veining (wikipedia, 2010). The fruit of this plants turns into a legume 3-7 cm long containing 1-4 seeds after pollination. The legumes then force it’s their way underground to mature (Figure 1) (wikipedia, 2010).

Figure 1. (Parts of a Peanut Plant)
Environmental Condition of Plant:
Peanut Plants grow in areas where there is a warm climate and lots of water available. Peanut plants need about 20-40 inches of water in a growing season (preanutvan.2010). They can grow in almost any area that has those ideal conditions. Peanuts are native to South America but are grown in China, India, United States, Nigeria and Indonesia and many other countries.
Product Produced
There are many products that can be made from a peanut and they are:
-Peanut butter
-the nuts inside the actually legume can be eaten
-peanut oil
-peanut flour
- Peanuts are also used in cosmetics, plastics, dyes and paints (wikipedia,2010).
How do we get it?
First the peanuts are harvested when they are ripe, they are then transported to the factory where they are turned into the final product as described in flowchart 1.

The peanuts are harvested by a tractor (seriousseat.com,2009)



The peanuts are then transported to factories for processing (instantcashcb.com)


The peanuts are brought to the factory in order to be made into the specific product
such as peanut butter or peanut oil (doctor2008.wordpress.comdoctor2008.wordpress.com)



The peanut product is packaged (superlist.com)

The final product is then shipped and sold at stores around the world (en.wikivisual.com)
(FlowChart1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbDjnnhUSOY




Beneficial Impacts:
Some beneficial impacts of the peanut is that it is very healthy for you because it decreases the chance of cardiovascular disease by 21% and they are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate and protein. Peanuts are also very high in antioxidants and it rivals the antioxidant levels of many fruits. It also provides jobs for the farmers who grow peanuts and for the employees that work in the factories that make peanut products. It is also enjoyed by millions of kids around the world. Peanut oil replaces vegetable oil as a healthier way of cooking using oil and the environmental benefit is better. (whole paragraph. George Mateljan.2010)
Harmful Impacts:
Even though peanuts have plenty of beneficial impacts they also have a few negative impacts. In order for the peanuts to be harvested tractors have to be used and the tractors use fossil fuels to drive and that pollutes that air, fossil fuels are also used to power the trucks that ship the peanuts to the factories and to the store. Pollutants are also produced from the factory by all the machinery. (whole paragraph. George Mateljan.2010)
Conclusion: Peanuts are a healthy food that can be grown around the world so it is available to everyone. It doesn’t cost a lot to make peanuts into peanut butter or peanut oil. A peanut is not actually a nut it is a legume which is in the bean family. All in all peanuts are an extraordinary food that is very delicious as well.



Pictures:
http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=332
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/vegetable/peanut/



Web:
wikipedia, w.p. (2010, december). Peanuts. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut
http://www.peanutvan.com.au/how-peanuts-are-grown.php http://www.baar.com/peanut.htm
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=101#healthbenefits
http://42explore.com/peanut.htm
http://www.peanutbureau.ca/Canada/Index.cfm