As more people eat plant-based meats, Midwest farmers give peas a chance
By Elizabeth Rembert, KOSU
October 6, 2021
Fueled by the rise of meat alternatives, consumers have been eating more and more dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans.
Bags of lentils or canned chickpeas aren’t a surprising sight in a grocery store, but a closer look may reveal some surprising bean and pea products on the shelves.
There are bags of PeaTos, which are similar to Cheetos but made from peas. Their tagline is “Junk food taste, made from peas.”
In the freezer aisle, there are alternative meats, like Beyond Meat’s “ground beef.” The two top ingredients are water and pea protein.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that people consume about two more pounds of legumes per year than in 2000, and experts see that climb continuing.
Most of the crops behind those products come from northern states like North Dakota, Montana and Idaho, but states in the Great Plains are becoming increasingly important to meet rising demand.
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