It's a great time to be an almond farmer.
American consumption of almonds has grown over 220 percent since 2005. We now consume more than two pounds of almonds a year, compared to the quarter of a pound we were pecking on in the early 70s.
This totally makes sense if for no other reason than it is impossible for a "healthy snack under 100 calories" article or slideshow to not include a "handful of almonds."
The Washington Post notes that this almond popularity surge is largely attributed to a shift in our diets and what we now consider healthy. Today, we are less concerned with fat content than we used to be (healthy fats are key!) and there is greater interest in different sources of protein.
A national shift away from traditional sources of protein, like red meat, has also made the protein-packed nut an increasingly popular foodstuff. Meat consumption has been falling for almost a decade in the U.S., according to research firm Packaged Facts. The growing demand for healthy, but appetite-suppressing snacks, has helped, too—especially considering that nearly everyone in the country now snacks. There is also the rise of vegetarianism and veganism; a recent study found that more than 3 percent of American adults now follow a vegetarian diet.
Like anything Americans are addicted to that isn't laden with sugar or salt, almonds have benefited from a robust marking push. Americans now view almonds as the most nutritious nut with its links to weigh management and heart health.
Not to mention that we're making every damn thing out of almonds these days—milk, butter, flour, oil. I even saw the rudest recipe ever for almond oven-fried chicken. Enjoy it while you can and if you're an almond farmer or an almond marketing specialists, I hope you're saving some cash because in another thirty years or so, we'll all be eating walnut butter.
Image via Svetlana Lukienko/Shutterstock.