From the ancient use of sunflower oil in medicine, to the crunchy packaged snack we know and love today, the sunny and beautiful sunflower plant has had a place in history for thousands of years. These days, the seeds of the sunflower are most commonly enjoyed roasted and salted. We refer to the folks who share a passion for seeds as “seeders”.
To learn a bit more about who seeders are, and why they choose to seed, we sent out a few questions for our customers to respond to. Below are a few of the most common reasons people choose to snack on seeds, and some of the benefits sunflower seeds can provide.
THE NOSTALGIA SNACK
We believe in enjoying sunflower seeds while doing the things you love, with people you love. As an activity-based snack, sunflower seeds can bring back childhood memories of the things you did while eating seeds, and the people you ate them with. One of our favorite responses came from Jennifer in Oklahoma: “Memories of childhood, baseball games, summer days, and time with my Dad and Grandpa fishing. Now sharing those same experiences with my son!”
What better snack is there?
CURBING EXCESS EATING
Sunflower seeds take time to eat. For this reason, many people turn to seeds as an alternative to other quick snacks. Wayne from Massachusetts finds that having seeds in the pantry helps prevent “bored eating” and weens off snack cravings with sunflower seeds, which have fewer calories (and more fun!) than other snacks. Michael from Oregon said that seeds have helped him while sheltering in place during COVID, preventing him from snacking on more calorie-dense foods. Grabbing a handful and cracking one-by-one is a great way to cut excess snacking calories from your diet and fuel your body with heart healthy fats and nutrients.
Lynette from West Virginia praises seeds as a great stress reliever, and Rick from Oklahoma cracks seeds in stressful scenarios like competitive golf games. Mark from New Jersey finds South Forty seeds as the best way to burn nervous energy. The physical nature of eating seeds allows you to keep your hands and mouth busy which can be calming. Additionally, sunflower seeds are full of tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin production, which improves mood and helps relieve stress and anxiety.
For those who want to quit tobacco, seeds can be a stellar replacement for the oral fixation of chewing tobacco or smoking a cigarette. Jim from Wisconsin and Mike from Oregon have both found success in quitting smoking, and both cite seeds as a factor in overcoming the need for a cigarette. Daniel from New York says seeds were a helpful factor in his journey to quit chewing tobacco. Seeds are a healthy ritual that can help replace the habit of tobacco in your life.
Not surprisingly, many picked up seeding while playing baseball or softball. It’s no secret, sunflower seeds are deeply rooted in baseball and softball. While many ballplayers have historically chewed tobacco during games, more recently, some ballplayers have turned to sunflower seeds as a healthy alternative to tobacco. Ballplayers love to spit seeds in the dugout and on the field. Some stuff their pockets with seeds and eat them through whole games. Seeds are also enjoyed by parents, friends, and fans in the bleachers. Whether you’re watching your kid in Little League, or at a Major League Baseball game, there’s no better snack than sunflower seeds. Seeds are banned for MLB players during COVID, but we hope to have seeds—and fans—back in ballparks soon!
BIG SEEDS, BIG FLAVOR
Overwhelmingly, the responses indicated that seeders ultimately eat seeds for the robust and delicious flavor. The initial salty crunch followed up with the nutty flavor of the roasted seed are a true demonstration of excellence in simplicity. The flavor of seeds is what keeps people coming back.
Sunflower seeds serve a number of purposes to seeders, and we support all reasons for seeding! Thank you to our many fans who participated and told us why you seed. We believe, and you validated, that sunflower seeds are the best snack out there!