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Closing the loop 
for a Greener Britain

Diets are shifting
On the question of health, British consumers of all ages are deciding the answer is yes. Increasingly, individuals are shifting their dietary habits.
The key word is 'shift '.  Our challenge is not about taking sides or joining a tribe or set diet.  We can all agree that a shift is needed!  It's about making personal decisions to feel and to live better.  It's about finding ways to adjust our life-styles around healthier eating. 
Food really is the best medicine.   We really are what we eat.  If we can follow these age old messages, we may even have direct impact on a healthier community, a healthier planet.
The Inspiring Ingredient

The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)

The Idea

Small loops linking us (consumers) with food preparers and food producers can grow larger and replicate to help build a stronger, more resilient food-system that benefits us, our community and the planet. 

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To be(an), or not to be(an)?

​That's the question we asked when our project started in 2011 with two heirloom varieties of the common dry bean, our nations favourite pulse.  Their names:  Edmund (a white pea-sized 'navy' bean) and Avon Annie (a brown kidney-shaped bean).  Common dry beans are a popular source of plant-based protein and dietary fibre for humans the world over.  


The surprising fact is that none of the traditional navy beans currently consumed by British consumers (up to two million tins every day) aren't actually grown here.  The raw ingredient of dry beans are imported from countries like the USA, Canada and China.


With two bean parents (Edmund and Avon Annie), we began breeding new varieties of dry bean in a range of colours that can thrive in British sunshine and be a commercially viable crop.  We had a head start with Edmund, which was previously developed from MAFF funded research in the 1970-80s at the National Vegetable Research Station (now the University of Warwick Crop Centre).


Three UK Registered Bean varieties  ​(URBeans for short) are currently being trialed with a commercial seed company and an Association of URBean Growers in the midlands.

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