I stumbled across this article about Winged Beans and as a crop I have to say I'm pretty impressed. I don't know if it will be a big hit with paleos but some of you will find it interesting.
High-yield? Sure, in fact you can pretty much eat the whole plant from root to flower, mature and immature seeds and leaves, etc... They produce highly nutritious tubers, spinach-like leaves, and trippy looking bean pods that seem to merge leafy greens with soy beans with green beans...
These bean pods are incredible sources nutrients sorely missing from most people's diets, especially in developing countries. 1/4 cup of mature winged beans has half a mg of thiamine, 200mg calcium, 66% RDA of copper, 76% iron, 20% magnesium, etc... Most healthy paleos do get that stuff but I'm also thinking about developing countries (not that I won't incorporate them into my diet if I can find them).
From an agricultural and sustainability point of view they're amazing. They're nitrogen-fixing so you can plow the stocks back into the field and actually increase nitrogen with each harvest. They're great for reducing/eliminating damage done by monocrop farming; the winged bean can be grown in tandem with other crops/trees or on its own.
They form a perfect synergy with corn for instance (C'mon, some countries still need to grow corn even if it's not paleo). The tall corn stalk eliminates the need for staking because it provides something for the lanky vine to climb. Since it matures later in the season, the corn can be harvested before the beans are ready. Then the stalks stay behind and get woven with a mesh of winged bean vines.
There's lots of genetic diversity too (something like 300-400 varieties discovered to date) though I'm sure we'll cull and minimize that diversity like big idiots. For now it can be bread to grow well in a wide range of climates, soils, and farming techniques.
I just got excited and I don't know where else to post about it. Not like my Facebook friends will give a rat's arse.
asked byMethodician (624)
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on May 22, 2014
at 10:26 AM
Grassfed steaks to the rescue, not beans!
on May 14, 2014
at 02:17 AM
I am more impressed with moringa.