Field of Science

Legume longevity - lupines and pinto beans

A number of legumes have pretty hard, nearly impervious, seed coats, and thus the seeds may remain viable for a long time. Although perhaps questionable because it lacked a "best used before" date, a seed of an Arctic lupine supposedly germinated after being frozen in permafrost for an estimated 10,000 years. Our own bit of permafrost resides in the basement, and on the rate occasion when the Phactor ventures into the depths of our chest freezer, amazing discoveries can be made; in this case another ancient legume, a quart of BBQ pinto beans from May of 1994. A lot has happened since those pinto beans went into their cryogenic hibernation, e.g., it's a new century, we moved to a new house, albeit one only 4 blocks away, which undoubtedly played a role in their longevity. Having been cooked there can be no expectations of viability, but to our astonishment, those beans were still quite edible, in fact it was quite a good batch. Someplace there must be a record book for leftover food survival, a hall of fame of for forgotten freezer residents, survivors of power outages, occasional defrostings, and purges. So like all real ancient things, those pinto beans avoided quite a number of potential threats. Maybe someday the F1 will inherit the rest.


Larissa said...

inherit the rest of what? the crazy stuff crammed into the chest freezer?!!

The Phytophactor said...

Try to contain your excitement.