Consider The Bean

This week, we shine a spotlight the humble yet mighty bean. We begin with its role as cultural icon–celebrated each Lundi Gras at the Red Beans Parade. When Devin De Wulf founded the Krewe of Red Beans over a decade ago, he had no idea he was creating a Lundi Gras tradition that would develop a cult following. The annual parade has gotten so popular that three bean parades will be marching this year. Devin joins us to discuss the krewe’s expansion from a Lundi Gras marching parade to a year-round institution.

Next, we talk beans with a host of international food leaders at Slow Food Nations in Denver, Colorado. We explore the connection between seeds and beans with seed farmer, Evan Gregoire. Celebrity chef Rick Bayless reflects on the cultural connections to be found in a pot of beans. Academic and activist Raj Patel explains how beans can restore ecological systems for more sustainable agriculture. We also sit down with Richard McCarthy, who tells us how beans connect to Slow Food USA’s mission to provide good, clean, and fair food for all.

Finally, we sample some red beans and rice with longtime vendors Judy Burks and Morris Douglas. Judy’s Red Beans booth has been woven into the very fabric of Jazz Fest over the 40 years that she’s been stirring the pot at the Fairgrounds.

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