What you see: Your green bean looks a little rugged, but doesn’t appear to be rotting.
What it is: Likely damage from the wind.
Eat or toss: Eat! This green bean isn’t picture-perfect, but is edible.
Green beans with a roughed-up look are still edible
When Washington, D.C. reader Katharine was prepping her green beans, she picked this one out because it didn’t look quite right. There were strange bumps, almost in a zipper-like pattern, or, as she put it, “alien markings.”
Fortunately, we’re glad to report that this bean (probably) was not abducted by aliens and then covertly placed in what Katharine reports was otherwise a bag of perfectly normal-looking beans. The bean we’re talking about today most likely contended with a more earthbound force: wind.
“I think that this is an example of what I call wind rub,” Jim Myers, a vegetable breeder and professor at Oregon State University, wrote to me in an email.
“This comes about with a developing pod rubbing on the stem of the plant as the wind shakes the plant. This scars the pod and results in callusing where the rubbing occurs. Unsightly but still edible.”
Since this bean otherwise looked normal, wasn’t generating any strange odors and didn’t have any slimy or squishy areas–signs of rot–we’re calling it simply a little rugged and still perfectly fine to eat.
- Jim Myers. Professor, Vegetable Breeder and Professor. Oregon State University. College of Agricultural Sciences. Department of Horticulture.
It’s not easy being bean