I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich almost every single school day from first grade until I graduated from high school. I hated the school lunches, and I didn’t like tuna or lunchmeat, so my mom packed the classic PB&J for me year after year. What I didn’t realize is that I was being environmentally friendly all those years.
I also didn’t realize back then that there was a National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (perhaps it hadn’t been christened as such back in the day), but there is. April 2 is officially National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.
In honor of this yummy holiday, The PB&J Campaign
sent me some facts about eating a plant-based lunch and how that's good for the environment.
Compared to the average American lunch, plant-based lunches save:
- 2.5 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
- 130 gallons of water
- and 24 square feet of land that otherwise might be deforested
Look at that. For 12 straight years when I was a kid, I was saving the environment, and I didn’t even know it. Actually, I still rarely eat meat before dinner time (although I will eat dairy) specifically to lessen my environmental impact.
I wonder if I negate the good I’m doing when I eat a PB&J if I wash down the sandwich with a glass of organic milk?
The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I eat now look a little different than those of my youth. I use whole grain bread instead of white bread, natural peanut butter instead of Skippy, and fruit juice-sweetened grape spread instead of jelly with added refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup. I do still, from time to time, shove a few salty potato chips inside the sandwich on those rare occasions when we have chips in the house.
A while back, MNN's family blogger told us how to make homemade peanut butter
. It’s really easy. It might not be something you want to do every day, but in honor of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, you could take a few minutes to whip up your own natural peanut butter.