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2016: The Year of the Bean

December 21, 2015

Increasing bean consumption can make both people and soils healthier.



Giving beans a salute. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Say hello to the year of the bean: The United Nations has declared 2016 The Year of Pulses, pulse referring to pinto beans, chickpeas, and other edible beans. Colorado State University plant geneticist Michael Brick says pulse crops enrich the soil, by teaming up with soil bacteria to pull nitrogen out of the air to make fertilizer. He adds that beans are high in protein, and reduce your risk of cancer.

MICHAEL BRICK (Colorado State University):

We think that there should be a renewed interest on diversification of the diet. Not just providing calories, but a diverse diet that makes people healthier, and pulse are part of that component.


And if you’re reluctant to eat beans because of the embarrassing intestinal consequences, have no fear: new research shows that eating beans regularly changes your gut ecosystem, silencing the salutes.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.