Home Cooks Can Help Improve Bean Varieties

February 2020

A U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher is asking home chefs to prepare varieties of beans and report the cooking times.

The project is designed to select beans that can be fully cooked in shorter periods of time. Dry beans and other “pulse” crops such as lentils and chickpeas are included in items targeted by the research list.

Karen Cichy, a plant geneticist with the agency’s Agricultural Research Service, has collaborated with Global Pulse Confederation so that citizen cooks can use a dedicated website to enter information about which beans they eat, the methods of preparation they use and the cooking times.

Based at the Sugarbeet and Bean Research Unit on the Michigan State University campus, Cichy will report the results of the project in a scholarly journal and post a summary of them on the special website.

The home cooking survey phase of the project is scheduled to end on Feb. 29. For more information, visit https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAARS/bulletins/27a468f.

(Photo courtesy of Peggy Greb, USDA/ARS)