Lima Bean Respect Day is on April 20, and we are eagerly preparing to celebrate with enthusiasm by doing the best thing possible and indulging in lima beans for an entire day. Though famously referred to as ‘the butter beans,’ lima beans have many other names: the wax bean, chad bean, sieva bean, double bean, Rangoon bean, Burma bean, and Madagascar bean are among many others. And yes, they are very much edible. Lima Bean Respect Day, however, was created to give recognition to the wonderful, tasty, nutritious legumes, lima beans. People observe this day by making delicious lima bean recipes and enjoying them with friends and family.
History of Lima Bean Respect Day
Limas originated from Peru, where they were grown and cultivated way before corn. Lima was named after Lima, the capital city of Peru, where the bean was first found. Limas, which have many more names than any other bean all over the world, are known as the largest among the bean family. The Andes’ Inca Empire considered limas as one of its most common and basic food.
Lima beans are so deep-rooted in the culture of the Peruvians that they have relics in the Moche people’s pottery. The Moche people were settlers of northern Peru during the 15th century. The lima bean is one of the oldest beans sourced from the Americas, remnants of which have timestamps from 6000 to 5000 B.C. Two main branches of the lima genus were domesticated in Latin America.
Its scientific name ‘Phaseolus Lunatus’ technically means ‘half-moon,’ which pertains to the bean shape. Lima bean symbolizes both war and eternal life.
Rich in protein, fiber, and other nutrients, it has the accolade of being a superfood but could also be poisonous when eaten raw.
The exact origin of this holiday is still elusive. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: the person or group who came up with this bizarre celebration must have been lima beans aficionados. It could be that the person deemed it right to celebrate such a day because he either loved the delectable taste of this legume or truly believed in its nutritional values and health benefits.
Lima Bean Respect Day timeline
Andes domestication takes place, then cultivation spreads into the Old World.
The Moche people showcase lima beans in their art.
The Spaniards discover lima beans in Lima, Peru.
Succotash is a dish made with corn and lima beans, and is introduced to the Pilgrims by the Native Americans.
The lima bean is officially named after its birthplace, Lima, Peru.
The flourishing dry lima bean industry of southern California begins.
The unofficial holiday celebrating lima beans begins.
Lima Bean Respect Day FAQs
Are lima beans fruits or vegetables?
Aside from having so many names, it also gets a bit confusing in determining if lima beans are categorized as fruits or vegetables. From the scientific botanical point of view, it is a fruit, but since ancient times, lima beans have been used as a vegetable, to be incorporated in main, for their savory flavors.
Are lima beans poisonous?
Yes. Lima beans are more poisonous than the average regular beans. It contains cyanogenic glycosides, sugar-bound compounds that are harmless until consumed and decomposes to an enzyme that splits the molecule in two, generating deadly hydrogen cyanide. Cooking the beans for at least 10 minutes would eliminate the toxic cyanide, making the food safe to eat.
Can lima beans make me sick?
Ingesting undercooked lectins from lima beans can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Therefore, it is important to cook lima beans well.
Lima Bean Respect Day Activities
Include lima beans in your meals for the day.
Be it your regular daily humdrum or an adventurous experiment, add lima beans to a new formula, give the yummy, nutritious lima the due it deserves.
Encourage your family and friends
Encourage family and friends to discover and enjoy the day and have a new sense of reverence towards the lima beans. Inspire even strangers to have a profound delight in celebrating this special occasion by posting hashtags.
Learn more about lima beans
Varying perceptions about lima beans abound. It is said to be unhealthy and poisonous and makes one sick. On the other hand, it is also said to be yummy, nutritious, and healthy, with abundant remedial benefits to the human body, and even supports weight loss. The holiday is a good occasion to appreciate and have a thorough understanding of this enigmatic food.
5 Facts About Lima Beans That Will Blow Your Mind
It belongs to the legume family
Lima beans originate from Central and South America and are a part of the legume family.
It is named after a capital city
During Peru’s Spanish Viceroyalty, lima beans were exported to America and Europe in boxes labeled 'Lima Peru,' hence its name.
It symbolizes both war and eternal life
It is depicted in the fine art and pottery of the epoch that lima beans symbolize war and peace.
It is nutritious but poisonous sometimes
Packed in protein, fiber, and other nutrients, raw lima also contains linamarin, which decomposes into the toxic chemical hydrogen cyanide.
It thrives in the sun
It flourishes in full sun but will propagate and yield a lesser harvest in partial shade
Why We Love Lima Bean Respect Day
Lima beans are delicious
Every person has his or her preference, but a day to celebrate lima beans would encourage other people to partake in a lima beans meal, then discover how yummy it really is. It has a dissimilar taste with other legumes in that it tastes velvety, buttery, and creamy.
Lima beans are healthy
If you're health-conscious you’d love to indulge in this nutritious superfood that is rich in protein, fiber, iron, and other nutrients. It is also low-glycemic, which is good for diabetics and increases weight loss, stabilizes sugar levels, and promotes a healthy heart. Eating healthy for a day is undeniably a feel-good day.
It spreads awareness
Celebrating Lima Bean Respect Day not only is good for one’s well-being, but it also supports and pushes social awareness not just about a day of eating lima beans with gusto but with the long-term vision of making people aware of this good old healthy lima.
Lima Bean Respect Day dates