World Pulse Day

In the world of food, the bean is rarely talked about. Its undervalued reputation is one of the great food-related tragedies of our time. In this article we will put the bean firmly back in the spotlight, where it belongs.

Just to make you curious, here is a short list of just some of the beans’ mesmerizing qualities.


Yes. Beans are good for you. Seriously good. The bean is a nutrition powerhouse of epic (pro)portions, combining protein and fiber like it’s nothing. Beans can be one of the best sources of clean, plant-based protein and fiber. One cup of cooked soybeans contains almost 30 grams of protein! And unlike animal protein, beans don’t contain pro-inflammatory compounds like arachidonic acid, saturated fat and carnitine.

Beans are also high in iron (one cup of black beans contains roughly 1/3 of an average humans’ daily need) which makes them an excellent meat-replacement. Plus all beans contain potent phytochemicals, which are amazing disease fighters. Also, their satiety (how filling a food is) is off the charts, because beans release their energy very slowly, making you feel full for longer and thus less likely to snack between meals. But beans are not just great for your health.


Yes, the planet also benefits from them. The water, land and petroleum beans use to grow is much, much less than what livestock needs. The water footprint for 1 kg of beans is 43 times lower than for 1 kg of beef! Plus, beans don’t pollute the planet with harmful byproducts like methane and other greenhouse gases.

Then there is the simple issue of space. Cattle require 20 times more land than beans per unit of protein. On a planet that has less and less free suitable farmland, placing your bets on a foodstuff that needs less space to grow makes perfect sense. Beans can also grow in arid lands and require very little water, which comes in handy, since temperatures are rising and droughts are becoming more and more frequent.

And maybe the beans’ most amazing trait: Their ability to keep the soil healthy and the air clean. Beans work together with symbiotic bacteria in the ground they grow in, extracting nitrogen from the atmosphere and putting it back in the soil via the bacteria. By doing so beans make the soil they grow in healthier, boosting the soils’ own ability to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere. This means that beans need little to no nitrogen fertilizer, again leading to lower emissions. Now that’s what we call a win-win.

In closing

From environmental benefits to improvements in health, beans score top marks in every category. In all seriousness, the bean is just what we need. A dramatic shift to sustainable diets could make an immense impact in lowering the global greenhouse emissions. Which we really should do, since food systems currently make up one-third of those emissions.

We hope we’ve made you as enthusiastic about the bean as we are. Thank you for reading! It’s bean lovely having you here.

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