FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Affairs Director, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
April 14, 2021
New Mexico Celebrates National Pecan Day April 14
New Mexico is second-highest pecan-producing state in the nation
LAS CRUCES – Whether it’s covered in praline, layered on top of a pie, incorporated into a main dish or straight of out the shell, the pecan is a staple of New Mexico cuisine.
New Mexico joins the rest of the country in celebrating National Pecan Day April 14.
“We have lots to celebrate when it comes to New Mexico pecans,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “Not only are there countless ways to enjoy this delicious snack, but the crop provides many jobs in the state and has a positive economic impact.”
The value of the New Mexico’s 2020 pecan production was $108.57 million. New Mexico is the second-highest pecan-producing state in the nation behind Georgia. In 2020, the Land of Enchantment’s pecan production was 77.0 million pounds, and its bearing acreage was estimated at 45,000 acres.
Not only is New Mexico No. 2 in pecan production in the nation, but Doña Ana County has the largest acreage of pecans of all counties nationwide, and Eddy County ranks No. 11 nationwide, according to the most recent U.S. Agriculture Census.
In celebration of 2021 National Pecan Day, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture invites the public to check out four “Tasty Pecan” recipe videos on the New Mexico–Taste the Tradition YouTube channel. The recipes are from U.S. Pecans:
Pecan Crusted Chicken Nuggets
Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich
Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball
Goat Cheese and Pecan Shortbread Tart
“Not only are pecans delicious,” said Witte. “They are nutritious as well. Recent research has shown pecan consumption has many health benefits.”
According to the publication “Pecans: A Healthful New Mexico-Grown Food” by New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service:
- Pecans are high in unsaturated fats, which have a positive impact on blood cholesterol levels, and low in saturated fats, which have a negative impact on blood cholesterol levels.
- Pecans are an excellent source of the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is also found in olives and olive oil and is recommended for reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Pecans are a good food source of other nutrients that contribute to heart health and provide other health benefits.
- Pecans are also among the best food sources of phytochemicals that are antioxidants.
- Pecans have a concentrated amount of plant sterols that have been shown to lower bad cholesterol low-density lipoprotein
- Pecan nuts contain few carbohydrates and are a very low glycemic index food, which means that eating pecans has little impact on blood glucose (blood sugar) after meals.
- Pecans, along with other nuts, in the diet may also help to reduce inflammation in the body
“Thank a New Mexico pecan grower, and pick up your favorite New Mexico pecan product or try a new recipe with pecans to celebrate National Pecan Day!” said Witte.
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