Green beans can be eaten raw in small quantities, but you shouldn’t go overboard. They contain the toxin phasin, which is rendered inactive by cooking. Special care should be taken when serving uncooked green beans to children.
From Wikipedia: “Green beans are the unripe, young fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Immature or young pods of the runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), yardlong bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), and hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) are used in a similar way. Green beans are known by many common names, including French beans, string beans, snap beans, and snaps.
They are distinguished from the many differing varieties of beans in that green beans are harvested and consumed with their enclosing pods, typically before the seeds inside have fully matured. This practice is analogous to the harvesting of unripened pea pods as snow peas or sugar snap peas.”
“In the past, bean pods often contained a "string", a hard fibrous strand running the length of the pod. This was removed before cooking, or made edible by cutting the pod into short segments. Modern, commercially grown green bean varieties lack strings.
Green beans are eaten around the world, and are marketed canned, frozen, and fresh. Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. A dish with green beans popular throughout the United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole, which consists of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.
Some US restaurants serve green beans that are battered and fried, and some Japanese restaurants serve green bean tempura. Green beans are also sold dried, and fried with vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas, as vegetable chips.
The flavonol miquelianin (Quercetin 3-O-glucuronide) can be found in green beans.”
Production in 2014:
From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phaseolus_vulgaris: “In 2010, total world production of dry beans was 23 million metric tons, harvested from over 30 million hectares. World production of green beans in 2010 was 17.7 million ton, harvested from 15.1 million hectares.”
“Over 130 varieties of green bean are known. Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and many varieties exist. Pod color can be green, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin "fillet" types to wide "romano" types and more common types in between. Yellow-podded green beans are also known as wax beans.”
From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phaseolus_vulgaris: “Green beans are classified by "growing" habit into two major groups, "bush" (or "dwarf") beans and "pole" (or "climbing") beans.
Bush beans are short plants, growing to not more than 2 feet (61 cm) in height, often without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. Due to this concentrated production and ease of mechanized harvesting, bush-type beans are those most often grown on commercial farms. Bush green beans are usually cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine, which must be supported by "poles", trellises, or other means. Pole beans may be common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) or yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis).”
“All of the following varieties have green pods and are Phaseolus vulgaris, unless otherwise specified:
Bush (dwarf) types:
Bush Kentucky Wonder
Derby (1990 AAS winner)
Purple Teepee (purple pods)
Pole (climbing) types:
Golden Gate (yellow/wax)
Kentucky Blue (AAS Winner)
Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus).”
From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phaseolus_vulgaris: “The toxic compound phytohaemagglutinin, a lectin, is present in many common bean varieties, but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans. White kidney beans contain about a third as much toxin as the red variety; broad beans (Vicia faba) contain 5 to 10% as much as red kidney beans.
Phytohaemagglutinin can be deactivated by cooking beans for ten minutes at boiling point (100 °C, 212 °F). Insufficient cooking, such as in a slow cooker at 80 °C/ 176 °F, however, is not sufficient to deactivate all toxin To safely cook the beans, the U.S Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature for long enough to completely destroy the toxin. For dry beans, the FDA also recommends an initial soak of at least 5 hours in water which should then be discarded. Outbreaks of poisoning have been associated with cooking kidney beans in slow cookers.
The primary symptoms of phytohaemagglutinin poisoning are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Onset is from one to three hours after consumption of improperly prepared beans, and symptoms typically resolve within a few hours. Consumption of as few as four or five raw, soaked kidney beans can cause symptoms. Canned red kidney beans, though, are safe to use immediately.”
Interesting facts - Origin:
From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phaseolus_vulgaris: “The wild P. vulgaris is native to the Americas. It was originally believed that it had been domesticated separately in Mesoamerica and in the southern Andes region, giving the domesticated bean two gene pools. However, recent genetic analyses show that it was actually domesticated in Mesoamerica first, and traveled south, probably along with squash and maize (corn). The three Mesoamerican crops constitute the "Three Sisters" central to indigenous North American agriculture.””
From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phaseolus_vulgaris: “Beans are grown in every continent except Antarctica.”