I’ve long understood that beans are the cornerstone of climate-conscious farming. But despite being a perfect food, they’re still largely misrepresented in the US.
Through my upbringing on the Mexican border and traveling the world, I noticed how freshness plays a major role in flavor and one’s cooking experience. Countries that enjoy beans regularly typically have a higher turnover rate – therefore, beans tend to be fresher. At home in the US, many of the beans found on grocery store shelves are grown at a very large scale, bred for traits like suitability for canning, and stored for longer periods of time.
I also noted that beans available through most outlets are limited to only a handful of varieties, even though there are hundreds of varieties that serve as culinary staples across the globe, offering so much diversity in flavor and texture. Beans are one the world’s longest-cultivated foods for good reason – they’re nutrient-dense, good-for-the-planet, delicious, and actually really easy to prepare.