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NoNuts Golden Peabutter Lesson Plans

This lesson plan uses the attitude objectives stated in the Alberta Program of Studies for Elementary Science. It is intended to encourage students to develop the following attitudes towards scientific study:

Demonstrate positive attitudes for the study of science and for the application of science in responsible ways

Specific Learner Expectations

Students will show growth in acquiring and applying the following traits:

  • curiosity
  • confidence in personal ability to learn and develop problem-solving skills
  • inventiveness and open-mindedness
  • perseverance in the search for understandings and for solutions to problems
  • flexibility in considering new ideas
  • critical-mindedness in examining evidence and determining what the evidence means
  • a willingness to use evidence as the basis for their conclusions and actions
  • a willingness to work with others in shared activities and in sharing of experiences
  • appreciation of the benefits gained from shared effort and cooperation
  • a sense of personal and shared responsibility for actions taken
  • respect for living things and environments, and commitment for their care.

Teachers are encouraged to use these lesson plans as a springboard for studying specific topics in Elementary Science.

What is NoNuts Golden Peabutter?

NoNuts Golden Peabutter

With this lesson plan, students will learn that peabutter is a food product developed in Alberta as an alternative to peanut butter. Seed producer Joe and his wife Pauline St. Denis of Legal began production of NoNuts Golden Peabutter in 1999 for two reasons: to make use of the abundant crop of brown field peas in the Legal area, and to provide those with an allergy to peanuts with a healthy version of the spread.

The St. Denis family had grown brown field peas on its farm for twenty years before developing peabutter. This was the first product to be produced by the family.

Lesson 1—Activity 1
To identify the product, show the bottle of peabutter to the class, and pass it around the class. On a map of Alberta, show students the location of Legal. Describe the area, as well as the various foods that are grown there.

Lesson 1—Activity 2
Show and describe to the students the differences between peanuts and brown field peas. Extend this to an explanation of how each crop is then manufactured into a spread. 

What are brown field peas?

This lesson plan will show students the differences between a garden pea and a field pea.

The field pea is a legume that is grown to be dried. The best-known varieties are whole or split green and yellow peas, and are often used in Canadian kitchens in pea soup. 

Brown field peas are popular in recipes from the American South, such as Hoppin’ John, in which the peas are cooked with rice and bacon as a New Year’s dish.

Today, Joe and Pauline use a brown field pea to which they own the North America breeding rights, and they produce them through Mountain Meadows Food Processing Ltd. in Legal.

Lesson 1—Activity 1
Select a variety of peas—garden, dried, frozen, canned—in packaged and unpackaged form. Ask the students to show which varieties are used in their homes, and to describe what they know about these peas.

Lesson 1—Activity 2   
Allow the students to taste the varieties of peas, either cooked or raw, and to suggest why the dried peas are not yet ready to taste. Describe how the dried varieties often must be soaked overnight and then cooked before they can be eaten.

How close in taste and smell is peabutter to peanut butter?

In this lesson plan, students will use their senses of taste and smell to discover the similarities and differences between peabutter and peanut butter.

Peabutter has the same flavour as sweetened peanut butter, though the texture is grainier. In addition to brown field peas, peabutter contains canola oil, icing sugar and monoglycerides from rapeseed and cottonseed oils.

Lesson 3—Activity 1
Do a blind taste test with a sweetened peanut butter and peabutter. Can the students identify the peabutter? What do they see as the differences between one sample and another?

Lesson 3—Activity 2
Have the students explain in words the sensations they feel, smell, see and taste as they compare the peanut butter with the peabutter.

Why is peabutter a healthier food product for some people?

With this lesson plan, students will learn of the side effect of a severe peanut allergy and how NoNuts Golden Peabutter poses no threat.

For people who have an allergy to peanuts, eating products that have even the smallest quantity of peanuts can mean death. Anaphylactic shock causes the throat to swell and close the airway. Because NoNuts Golden Peabutter is made of peas and not peanuts, this health risk is not an issue with the product.

In Canada, it is estimated that 1.5 per cent of the population—490,000 people—have an allergy to peanuts. Many of these are children, the prime users of peanut butter.

Lesson 4—Activity 1
If there are students in the class with a peanut allergy, have either the student or a visiting parent describe how it was discovered and what now happens in the household. What precautions need to occur, and what happens in an emergency? Is a nurse or doctor available to discuss the allergy with the students?

Where can NoNuts Golden Peabutter be found?

With this lesson plan, students will learn the local and international sources of NoNuts Golden Peabutter.

Since 2002, the product has been available across Canada in more than three thousand grocery stores and natural food shops. As well, there is American interest in the product, as more than three million Americans are allergic to peanuts.

Because of the peabutter’s health benefits and its peanut-free ingredients, some hospitals, such as Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, have adopted it as an alternative to peanut butter.

Lesson 5—Activity 1
Schedule a field trip to a grocery or natural foods store to show students the variety of peanut butters on the shelf and how to identify the peabutter. Will the store owner agree to a taste test with crackers? If not, arrange a taste test back at the school.

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