Full of Beans!
Astonishingly, there are approximately 40,000 varieties of bean in the world, and they are as important a source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals today as they have been for centuries. The common bean – or Phaseolus Vulgaris L. to give it its Latin name – is widely recognized to have originated from two separate ecogeographical areas, namely Mesoamerica and the Andes, and has since spread globally to become a day-to-day foodstuff that is truly worth celebrating.
The health benefits of beans are well documented. They contain folates, which can help combat symptoms such as weakness and fatigue, and some studies have linked them to a reduced risk of serious illness, such as heart attack, stroke, and some cancers. They can also help you to feel fuller for longer, which is a serious benefit to those that are dieting or looking to eat less.
Consumers may choose to buy their beans dried or fresh, but one of the most common formats is to buy them sealed in metal packaging. Canned beans are incredibly popular around the world, and everything from kidney beans for your chili con carne recipe to regular baked beans in tomato sauce can easily be found – usually at a very affordable price.
Being a seasonal product, beans can only be enjoyed fresh at certain times of the year, so canning brings tangible benefits to the table. Not only can consumers enjoy beans year-round as a result of the process, but product that may otherwise have been wasted can be saved from the trash bin. Food waste is a critical issue around the world and canning excess produce could help to put valuable food to good use.
In addition, metal packaging provides both brands and consumers with a sustainable packaging option. Metal is 100% recyclable and infinitely recyclable, and most of the metal used to create packaging is still in circulation today – as part of the circular economy. Increasingly, consumer choices are being driven by the impact a product has on the planet throughout its lifecycle, and metal can help boost the appeal of products such as beans through its sustainable credentials.
So, whether you like a baked, a pinto, a borlotti or a black-eye, grab a tin of beans this July 3rd on National Eat Beans Day, and celebrate this most humble and amazing superfood.