California Just Passed A Law Declaring four nuts the official state nut

Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts AND Pistachios Named an Official State Nut of California
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ANKARA, Turkey - Aug. 11, 2017 - PRLog -- On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into California law that officially declared the almond, pecan, walnut and pistachio to each be the state nut. This is a true thing that happened and not fake news. Section 422.3 of California Government Code now reads as such: "The almond (Prunus dulcis, Prunus amygdalus), walnut, pistachio, and pecan are each the official state nut."

The heroes of this story can be found in an elementary school classroom in Merced, where a group of fourth graders noticed The Land of Fruit and Nuts' glaring lack of an official California state nut and decided to do something about it. Like reasonable people, the fourth-grade class at Margaret Sheehy Elementary School chose a single nut, and wrote letters to their state representative Assemblyman Adam Gray urging him to help make it official. "Their idea was to make the almond, which is kind of predominate in this immediate area [of Merced], the state nut," Gray's senior policy advisor Robin Adam told LAist.

"We discovered that we were underrepresented because we don't have an official state nut," Margaret Sheehy Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Marc Medefind told the Merced County Times. "Other states, such as Arkansas, Texas and Missouri have state nuts but not California."

California, for what it's worth, does produce 98% of the pistachios in the United States and 99% of the U.S. commercial walnut supply, according to Assembly analysis of the bill. The text is slightly lighter on pistachio facts, merely noting that they were first planted in California in the mid-1970s, and that 2016 pecan production in California was over 5 million pounds.

California Walnuts
Extensive health research and nutritional studies show that walnuts are among the healthiest and most nutrient packed snacks. Walnuts contain a variety of antioxidants and essential nutrients that are deficient in many adult diets. Walnuts are an easy snack and are great for cooking.

Contain a Variety of Antioxidants

Omega 3 Antioxidant is an essential fatty acid. Walnuts continue to be one of the best plant food sources for Omega-3's. While most nuts contain monounsaturated fats, only walnuts are primarily composed of polyunsaturated fat.

Essential Nutrients Including: Protein, Fiber, Magnesium & Phosphorous

Walnuts contain a high amount of dietary fiber and protein which are essential to make you feel fuller longer, helping to maintain a healthy weight. Walnuts also include phosphorus and magnesium which contribute to the maintenance of the body's processes and are necessary for optimal wellness.

In-Shell vs. Shelled Walnuts

Omega Walnut, Inc. uses USDA grading criteria to inspect in-shell product. Grading standards include size, external defects, internal defects, and color. In-shell walnuts are packaged in sacks and distributed to in-shell markets including China, Vietnam, Europe, and other areas of high demand.

Omega Walnut offers a wide variety of shelled California Walnuts. All sizes and color meet specifications of industrial formulation for national or international use. Walnuts that are removed from storage are sent to a shelling department where they are mechanically cracked. Kernels are screened into a series of sizes and are air separated from the shell. They are then moved through electric color graders. The product is sorted and physically inspected. For more information on the process, feel free to watch our video under the "Processing"

This is a very small view of a processing plant. The machinery for cleaning, sorting, packaging and boxing is very sophisticated. Here you see workers separating walnuts by color, size and more. What few bad walnuts are found are used as bird feed.

Besides their beauty and great taste, there's lots to love about walnuts. They are the only nut to provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, they have fiber, magnesium, and a host of health-boosting phytonutrients. They are studied for their role in heart and brain health, as well as cancer prevention. I cook with them often. A favorite is stuffed mushrooms with onions, garlic, mushroom pieces, walnuts and goat cheese. You can find lots of wonderful recipes and tips at the site for the California Walnut Commission.

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