What are besan benefits and side effects? Is besan vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are besan pros and cons: all the info on besan that every ethical consumer wants to know…
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on besan benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about besan benefits and side effects. This will include besan benefits for your health and potential risks, besan water footprint and besan carbon footprint, besan sustainability, if besan is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if besan is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about besan benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Besan Benefits And Side Effects
Besan benefits for health may include:
- better digestion
- decreased hunger
- increased feelings of fullness
- possibly stabilized blood sugar
- pregnancy health
- some hormone regulation
- less free radicals
- gut health
- lower cholesterol levels
- recovery from injury and illness
- reduced risk of several conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer
- muscle building
- weight management and weight loss
Besan side effects may include:
- pesticide consumption if not organic
- do not over-consume, be sure to eat in moderation as with any food
Additionally, besan is…
Water footprint: likely moderate, 4,177 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of chickpeas or garbanzo beans / 501 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of chickpeas or garbanzo bean
Carbon footprint: likely low, .0.64 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of chickpeas, a car driving equivalent of 1.5 miles or 2.5 kilometers
Destruction: low, besan production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.
Killed: none, besan production does not require any animals to be killed
Harmed: none, besan production does not require any animals to be used
Animals indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from besan production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- A product that may or may not have labor issues
India is the world’s leading producer of chickpeas (around 70% of global production) followed by Australia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Canada and Russia.
In the United States chickpeas are grown primarily in Montana (35%), Washington (32%), Idaho (19%), and North Dakota (7%).
Yes! Besan is high in fiber, protein, folate and minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
Other names for besan are chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour and gram flour.
Is besan alkaline or acidic?
Besan is acidic. Chickpeas and most flours have an acidic pH level.
When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.
Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List
Is besan gluten free?
Yes, besan is gluten free. Besan does not contain gluten. Besan is chickpea flour, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
Is besan a common food allergen?
No, besan is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to besan but it is relatively rare by comparison.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
Water footprint of besan?
Besan likely has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.
What is the water footprint of besan?
It takes 4,177 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of chickpeas / 501 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of chickpeas.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
Carbon footprint of besan?
Besan likely has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
What is the carbon footprint of besan?
It takes around 0.64 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of chickpeas, a car driving equivalent of 1.5 miles or 2.5 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
Is besan sustainable?
Besan production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.
Is besan vegan?
Yes, besan is vegan. Besan is the pulse flour of gram chickpeas and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List
Does besan have human rights issues?
At this time there are no major concerns with chickpea production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even be subjected to harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment has been likened to modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
This post was all about besan benefits and side effects.
besan – FoodData Central
Besan (Fresh or flawed) | Department of Consumer Affairs