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THE NOT SO MUSICAL FRUIT

Cindy Maddera

I have a few friends who are vegetarians and therefore probably eat a lot of beans. I tend to eat vegetarian lunches that contain lots of beans, so even I understand the dangers of beans. Beans are hard to digest and they produce embarrassing flatulence, but now thanks to two strains of bacteria beans may no longer be a gassy problem. Venezuelan researchers found that fermenting beans (black beans for this study) with Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum reduces the amount of indigestible fibers in beans. It also reduced levels of raffinose which is a compound that if consumed by intestinal bacteria produces methane (i.e. gas or farts).

Not only does this discovery make beans more nutritious, it makes bean eaters less farty in public and less likely to fart loudly in yoga class.