New “Bean Emoji” welcomed in Michigan, heart of America’s dry bean industry
FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Emojis play an unmistakably important role in how we communicate today, including when it comes to our food. And while Michiganders have long had emojis at their fingertips for foods ranging from bread, to butter, to beef and beyond, a key Michigan-grown food – beans – were left off the list.
A “Bean Emoji” was included in the latest Emoji update being delivered to phones across the state, nation and globe. Michigan dry bean industry leaders say it’s another way to raise awareness of the nutritional value of beans.
“Dry beans are among the most nutritious, sustainably-grown foods you can eat – certainly deserving of an Emoji,” said Joe Cramer, Executive Director of the Michigan Bean Commission, which represents Michigan dry bean farmers. “When people are out there texting about what to get at the grocery store, or what to have for dinner, we want them texting about beans – and now they have the Emoji to do it.”
“Michigan-grown dry beans are enjoyed across six continents by millions of people every day,” said Chuck Lippstreu, President of the Michigan Bean Shippers, an organization of businesses that handle and export Michigan dry beans. “Beans are one of the most-consumed foods in the world – not to mention one of the most nutritious, sustainable choices – and a bean Emoji was long overdue!”
Here are some facts about the new Bean Emoji and Michigan’s Dry Bean Industry:
- The “Bean Emoji” most closely resembles the Dark Red Kidney Bean, just one of the nine variety of beans grown in Michigan.
- Beans are grown across the Lower Peninsula, with the Thumb and Saginaw Valley serving as home to the highest concentration of dry bean acres.
- Michigan is America’s top producer of Black Beans, Cranberry Beans and Small Red Beans, and second in the nation in the production of Navy Beans.
- Michigan beans can be prepared and served in many different ways!
- The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating about 3 cups of legumes, including dry beans, per week. If you eat about ½ cup of beans every day, you’ll meet the weekly Dietary Guidelines for legumes.