‘Greener You’ Challenge #5 – Soak and Cook Your Own Beans

Did you know?

  • If all Americans substituted beans for beef, the US would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions between 46-74%.
  • Beans are high in protein, folate, and antioxidants. They lower cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, promote heart health, and improve gut health.
  • Beans use much less land than beef. If we swapped beans for beef, we would free up 42% of current US cropland.
  • Beans return nitrogen to the soil. (Nitrogen in our atmosphere is a climate change driver. Nitrogen in the soil makes plants grow. Beans take damaging nitrogen from atmosphere and return it to the earth. Win/win!)
  • Beans are highly water efficient. Compared to chicken’s 4,325 liters, lamb’s 5,520 liters, and beef’s 13,000 liters per kilogram. It takes just 50 liters of water to grow a kilogram of beans

Hungry for more information and inspiration on beans? Tune into this week’s podcast with nutritionist Dr. Kristen Bentson, who answers our questions (including how to make them less…”musical”).

Here’s what you can do:

Make a change: Make beans the star of a meal this week. Experiment with soaking and cooking them. Buy them from your local grocery store or try some beautiful heirloom beans from a source like Rancho Gordo.

Go a Step Further: See beans as the magical fruit—great for the earth and for your health! Make beans center stage at an increasing number of your meals (including breakfast!).

Take The Lead: Reduce your consumption of foods high in greenhouse gas emissions (lamb, pork, and farmed seafood). Consider cutting back on foods that require high land or water use like avocado, almonds, and asparagus.

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