Pigeon Pea Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/20/22 •  10 min read

What are pigeon pea benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are pigeon pea pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

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 pigeon pea benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about pigeon pea benefits and side effects. This will include pigeon pea benefits for your health and potential risks, pigeon pea water footprint and carbon footprint, pigeon pea sustainability, if pigeon peas are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if pigeon peas are 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 pigeon pea benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Pigeon Pea Benefits And Side Effects


Pigeon pea health benefits may include:

Pigeon pea side effects may include: 

Additionally, pigeon pea are…

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02/18/2024 12:37 am GMT


Water footprint: low, it takes 595 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of green peas (pigeon peas also grow in a green pea pod) / 71 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of green peas

Carbon footprint: low, 1.2 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of peas (pigeon peas also grow in a green pea pod), a car driving equivalent of 2.75 miles or 4.5 kilometers

Destruction: low, pea 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.

Pigeon peas are…


Kills: none, pigeon pea production does not directly kill any animals

Harms: none, pigeon pea production does not require the usage of any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from pigeon pea 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

Pigeon peas are…


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

Pigeon peas…

Are pigeon peas good for you? Healthy? Nutritious?

Yes! Pigeon peas are a good source of protein, fiber, riboflavin, niacin, potassium and vitamin B.

pigeon peas are likely acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are pigeon pea alkaline or acidic?

Pigeon peas are likely acidic. Pigeon peas are in the legume family and other similar legumes like green peas are mildly acidic with a 6.5 pH level.

Most fresh fruits and vegetables are alkaline. Peas that are dried, canned or processed are acidic.

When you eat food, it breaks 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 in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

pigeon peas are gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Are pigeon peas gluten free?

Yes, pigeon peas are gluten free. Pigeon peas are a type of legume, 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:

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

pigeon peas are not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are pigeon peas a common food allergen?

No, v are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

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

pigeon peas likely have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do pigeon peas have a high or low water footprint?

Pigeon peas likely have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of pigeon peas?

It takes 595 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of green peas (pigeon peas also grow in a green pea pod) / 71 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of green peas.

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

pigeon peas likely have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do pigeon peas have a high or low carbon footprint?

Pigeon peas have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of pigeon peas?

It takes 1.2 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of peas (pigeon peas also grow in a green pea pod), a car driving equivalent of 2.75 miles or 4.5 kilometers.

Carbon footprints greatly depend on how far the food has traveled to get to you!

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

t’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

pigeon peas are sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are pigeon peas eco friendly? Are pigeon peas sustainable?

Pigeon pea production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. 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.

pigeon peas are vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Are pigeon peas vegan?

Yes, pigeon peas are vegan. Pigeon peas are a legume and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming 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. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

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

pigeon peas may have laborer issues and human rights concerns (depends on brand).

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are pigeon peas a product with laborer concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with pigeon pea 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. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience 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 is like 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. 

Check out this list of food to buy fair trade.

This post was all about pigeon pea benefits and side effects.


USDA – Puerto Rico – Ag History of Pigeon Peas

[historical record]: green pigeon peas – FoodData Central – USDA

The Dietary Use of Pigeon Pea for Human and Animal Diets

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.