Beans are seeds that we eat. They are shaped like small kidneys and grow inside a pod. You will find them in a row. The pod and its contents are also called beans, often also “green beans”. We eat them as whole vegetables. The whole plant is also called a bean. The beans belong to the legumes.
Various types of beans come from Europe. It is mostly us humans who eat kidney beans, together with the pods. The field bean is usually fed to animals. Field beans also include peas and lentils. It is eaten by humans but without the husk.
The soybean originally comes from East Asia. Today, however, it is mainly cultivated in America and is mostly used as animal feed. But today there are also many products made from soy that also sell well in supermarkets. Vegetarians especially like them as a substitute for meat. Many different beans originally come from Africa.
There are also beans that don’t deserve their name: The coffee bean and the cocoa bean do look similar to the beans in terms of shape. Scientists, however, are not related to real beans.