When you’re in your car nibbling on your Stuckey’s pecan log roll, have you ever wondered what they do with all of them shells that come from all of them pecans they roll onto each log of pecany goodness? Well, what if I told you that, instead of just throwing those shells away, most pecan growers and other industries who shell their own pecans put those shells to good use as an environmentally friendly biofuel, as a natural fertilizer and mulch for your farms and gardens, and as an additive in beauty products?  Well, believe it or not pecan waste is extremely versatile, making it a valuable resource that’s used by a wide variety of industries.

What makes the pecan so prodigious is their unusual, flexible, and desirable cell design. These unique cells, called sclereids, are round instead of the more commonly straight construction of other shells. As a result of their circular shape, sclereids integrate easier when they are mixed with other materials, making them much more useful in a wider variety of fields.

A magnified look at the sclereids of a pecan shell (marked by arrows in this picture).

One of these fields looking at the multiple uses of pecan shells is bioenergy field. For instance, there is an energy company based out of Denver that is adding pecan shells to its supply chain to use in generating electricity inside a closed-loop process where all the created energy will go back into the system; thus, no unusable waste is created.

Like corn, pecan shells are also being looked into as a possible source of biofuel.

Pecan shells are just some of the newest ingredients being converted into renewable energy that the company is adding to its inventory.  Other nuts are also being used to create thermal energy that will be easier to transport as the number of megawatts needed will be controlled by the customer.

While experimenting with pecan shells as a biofuel, scientist discovered one by-product of their relationship – organic biochar. Organic biochar has be very beneficial to the farming industry as not only is it used as a plant fertilizer, but it also beneficial for retaining moisture in the soil, both of which help produce better plant growth and more abundant crops.

Organic biochar

And speaking of growing things, pecans are also beneficial in the form of mulch to residential consumers for gardening and landscaping. In fact, along with shells of cocoa beans, the University of Florida has determined that pecan shells can be used as an alternative organic material. Being somewhat acidic, pecan shell mulch is perfect for acid-loving plants such as azaleas. Moreover, they’re good for the compost pile as eventually decompose anyway.

Want to impress your family and friends by adding something different to your backyard barbecue game? Then simply replace the mesquite and hickory chips you use to flavor your barbecue with pecan shells and give your meat a soft, sweet flavor.

Imagine how those steaks would taste with a little smoky pecan flavor added to them. Yummy!

Something you might want to remember if you ever end up naked and afraid on one of those survival shows:  there have been some universities around the Southeast that have researched using pecan shells to treat contaminated water with some success. Disclaimer: Note that we said with some success.  Boiling your water is always the safest method of getting rid of deadly contaminants.

Here’s some pecan shells. Use them to purify that water there so you can drink. Might be better for you with all them animals swimming around there. Just saying.

Many of you ladies may have heard about using finely ground apricot seeds as an exfoliate to scrub away those nasty dead skin cells, but have you ever heard of this beauty tip:  Simply place small pieces of pecan shells into either a clean food processor or a coffee grinder and grind them into a fine powder or a coarse paste. Afterwards, add them to your homemade soaps, body scrubs or face cleansers. The coarse granules of pecan shell will help exfoliate your dead skin cells. Just wet your skin with warm water and work those little pecan granules in small circles over your skin and then rinse with warm water for skin that simply glows!

“You look Mah-velous!”

Exfoliating is especially good in the winter when your skin tend to dry and get flaky; however, Exfoliating every day is not suggested. Also don’t forget to test a small amount on your skin prior to using any new cleansing product especially if you might have nut allergies.

As many of you already know, pecans are a tasty food source, but they also have inherent value that goes way beyond just being a delicious treat. Repurposing pecan shells is good for the environment because it removes them from the waste stream, minimizing waste and helping in the fight against climate change while also supplying a resource that is flexible, practical and eco-friendly.

With our recent purchase of our candy making plant in January, Stuckey’s is looking at ways we can continue putting our discarded pecan shells to use such as biofuel and mulch. We’ve even donated some of our discarded shells to a non-profit environmental organization so they can find other uses for pecan shells, as well.   

With all of that said, we realize that you probably stop at Stuckey’s for our tasty pecan treats and, well, you’ve stopped by the right place anyway. After all, what pecan treats can you find that are more delicious than our Stuckey’s pecan log rolls, pecan divinity bars, or pecan pralines?

What are you waiting for? Start planning your family road trip today and be sure to include a stop at one of our many Stuckey’s locations  for pecan treats and other fine gifts and souvenirs in your family road trip itinerary.   

And as always, if there’s not a Stuckey’s near you, we can always deliver our pecan log rolls or other fine pecan candies and other Stuckey’s merchandise right to your home. Remember, Stuckey’s memorabilia such as our retro themed t-shirts, caps and mugs make great gifts, too! Visit stuckeys.com for more info.

Now that you know where all those pecan shells go, go ahead and enjoy the rest of that Stuckey’s pecan log roll. We’ll make more!

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!