Where Non-GMO pinto beans are grown

With fall soon upon us I start thinking about Fall Food (which I even created a Pinterest board about last year.) Fall gets me to restart meal planning after a hap hazard summer. I love easy Crock-Pot meals like Chili or even side dishes like the Baked Beans I made this past weekend. 
Dumping cans of beans into a slow cooker gets me thinking about my parents and our pinto bean fields. I know. You don’t think about that when you are dumping cans of beans into a Crock-Pot. But I do. And I had a rare Labor Day weekend get away that allowed a farm tour from my parents along with my friend Janice who visited our prairie home over the long weekend from St. Louis. We actually got to see pinto beans in the field just before they are harvested this week. 
My dad showed us first hand that the dry conditions has impacted the bean size this year. But pinto beans are a great crop in our GriggsDakota farm rotation because of the nitrogen they put into the soil. It greatly increases the yield on the corn that will be planted on this ground next year. 
What struck me that many probably don’t know when they glance at this field is that this is where baked beans, chili beans, refried beans or whatever type of pinto beans you like prepare and eat, start. Most people never know driving by a field. And they certainly don’t think of it when they open a can of beans. After all, it’s just a can of beans. Nothing fancy right?
But behind every can of pinto beans, there is a farmer. That farmer most likely came from North Dakota too. We grow a majority of the edible dry beans in the United States. 
But most people don’t know that.

But many have questions where and how their food is grown. I am increasingly aware after traveling to Blogher and visiting with bloggers from across the country that many of you have a lot of questions about organic, conventional, GMO and non-GMO grown crops. I sometimes just pass over those topics because I think there is so much misinformation I don’t know where to start on the truth. And even if my truth is honest it might be misconstrued and twisted and I don’t want that fight in this space. I like peace on the blog. But you may know by now, I am not always the best at keeping the peace.

So, for now, we’re going to keep this simple. All dry bean varieties in the United States are currently non-GMO.

This may lead me into further explaining in another blog post why this is not concerning to me one way or another but to some of you it really matters so I felt it must be shared.

The pinto beans are conventionally raised in our farm fields. My mom has oodles of blog posts about growing pinto beans. Yes oodles. Just search her farm blog and you’ll find every picture and detail from start to finish about where your pinto beans start, are grown and how they eventually end up in your kitchen.

Whether you make chili, refried beans or baked beans with a few cans of beans this fall, remember the farmer behind the can of beans. It’s a family farmer who will be harvesting pinto beans this week most likely as much of edible bean harvest kicks off across North Dakota.

And what’s food with out a farmer? Nothing in my mind. Knowing where your food comes from matters to me. You knowing my parents raise pinto beans…that come in can, put there by a man, matters to me. (Anyone remember singing Adam Sandler? Join in!)
Another big thing that matters to me is my family. The kids stayed home for family fishing with their daddy when I trekked with Janice for our farm tour. Here are a couple of shots for my parents and grandparents who missed the girls (and Hunter who is 15 years old and not as easily photographed) from the weekend.

We have one daughter who might have pinto bean farming in her genes. She for now is sticking to tomatoes. And we have another girl who likes cows, not farming or gardening.

Any guesses on who the farm girl is and who is the cow girl?

Back to beans, the next time you open up a can of beans, you won’t look at them the same, will you? 
Because now you know a farmer behind the beans.

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing this upclose and personal look at farming and beans. I am one of the people who has never seen any bean grown first hand except for my pole green beans in my garden. I will check out your mom’s blog again and read more on it. I spent Sat in NYC at our farmer’s market and I value each and every farmer. I love knowing where my food comes from, and that it is grown here in this country. (Your kiddos are adorable…)

  2. says

    I always enjoy the passionate tone of your posts, Katie. It is very inspiring.

    Your words are down to earth, easy for all to understand and tell a story of love. Love for family, friends, land and livestock.

  3. Helen says

    I have a little chemistry and biology in my background and feel that I have somewhat a backing for what I am going to say. I realize many things change. I have for years understood the hybridization of seeds to make them produce more and I feel that is okay because you are using like species to create better/ However when I hear about splicing DNA to make something resistant to a chemical product I feel that someone is playing GOD and wants to sell more products. I don’t think that the profits now for the gain of feeding the world is just going to cause medical problems down the road. With the organic food grown in your back yard at least you can control what is being used to produce your food.

  4. Marylee says

    I am glad to know that the pinto beans in the USA are non-gmo. What are you thought regarding if it will stay that way?

  5. Gretchen says

    Thanks for this! I love learning about different farms. As a fellow farmer myself (lettuce and such), I must say that it’s good to hear that dry beans in the US are non-GMO. GMO is bad news for farmers.


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