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Old 08-31-2005, 01:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14,292
Is it OK to eat peanut shells?

Tonight, I was eating a bag of peanuts in the shell, and I gave one to my friend who popped the whole thing in his mouth, chewed it and swallowed it all.

I usually...take the peanut out of the shell.

But right now, as I speak, I'm eating peanuts, and I decided to try eating a litle bit of the shell along with the nut for the salty taste. Is this ok? Is it healthy?
Old 08-31-2005, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,760
Why would you want to?
Old 08-31-2005, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: NW IL
Posts: 270
I don't see how it could be unhealthy (other than the salt content)... aren't the peanut shells made of mostly fiber?

Ok, I managed to find this, which sums it up nicely:

All About Peanuts
Originally Posted by
Is it okay to eat peanuts shell and all?
Yes, peanut shells may be eaten. In fact, many people report that they enjoy peanuts including the shell and food scientist indicate that its okay. The chemical composition of peanuts shells varies with the peanut variety and shelling conditions but here is their approximate composition: Crude Fiber 60%; Cellulose 25%; Water 8%; Crude Protein 6%; Ash 2%; Fat 1%
Anecdotally, I ate peanuts with the shell still on all the time when I was little, and as far as I know I'm ok...

CynicalGabe, the shell is the saltiest bit, and some people go for that sort of thing. I enjoyed it immensely when I was young, but now I prefer just the peanuts.
Old 08-31-2005, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,408
I gotta say, though, if you're going to do that, don't eat too many at one time, and drink lots of water. All that fiber will bind you up something fierce if you're not careful.

A related article from Cecil Himself
Old 08-31-2005, 07:35 AM
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Location: Western Pennsylvania
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There is/was a dog food sold as a prescription reducing diet that had peanut hulls as its primary ingredient.
Old 08-31-2005, 10:27 AM
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I would guess that the only downside is that seeing as people are not expecting you to eat the shell, they don't go to any lengths to get them clean and pesticide free.
Old 08-31-2005, 03:19 PM
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It seems to me that the rough, fibrous shells might also scratch up your esophagus when you swallow them, might they not?
Old 08-31-2005, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Manhattan + Long Island
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I've been told the fertilizers they use in peanut fields make eating the shells a risky proposition, but I can't find a cite.
Old 08-31-2005, 04:33 PM
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Location: Anderson, IN,USA
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The peanuts, in shell, are washed before salting and roasting, so dirt and pesticides shouldn't be a problem. However, opening the shell gives you a chance to see and throw out the occasional bad nut. That way, your heirs won't have to sing that silly song about you.
"You know what they say about sleeping dogs; you can't trust 'em." --Oliver Faltz
Old 08-31-2005, 04:37 PM
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I've been known to eat the shell of soft-boiled peanuts. Never had a problem.
Old 08-31-2005, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 16,631
As someone who has eaten many a peanut in the shell in his time, I can report that the main problem is (potential TMI here) the shell fragments, even when presumably well chewed, tend to remain hard and pointy on the way out.


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