Green Beans With Brown Lines On Them - Are they OK to eat??

I bought fresh green beans a week ago. I had planned to puree them for my baby, but didn't get around to them until today. I stored them inside a mesh cotton bag, in the crisper box in my refrigerator. I took them out today and noticed the beans had brown stripes all over them! I tasted one, and they were still crisp and sweet, although a few had a tougher skin. I was hesitant, but steamed them anyway. The brown stripes seemed to have disappeared in the steaming. But after some quick Googling, I read that green beans with brown spots might have a fungus on them. But... my beans had brown lines, not spots. Is that the same?? Should I throw these beans away? I've already pureed them, and stored them in glass containers in the freezer. But I'm still wary, and wondered if they're safe for my baby? I've posted a pic if anyone would like to see what I'm talking about... Thanks for any input!!

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick August 22, 2013

They look past their prime. Probably okay to eat, though others may know better, but if it were me, I would not feed them to my baby.

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MissChristina
MissChristina August 22, 2013

Wish I could get a definitive answer either way. Some say it's just harmless bruising. Others say they're diseased. I'd hate to throw out perfectly good beans, even if they're just slightly old. But would definitely toss if I knew they're no good anymore.

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick August 22, 2013

Personally, if it tastes fine, I would eat it myself. But I don't think I'd take a chance with a baby whose immune system is less well developed. If you didn't have doubts, you wouldn't be asking. Go with your gut! (Pun not intended!)

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ChefOno
ChefOno August 22, 2013

A classic description of an aging bean pod. They develop brown spots, their fibers toughen and, as the process continues, they will lose sweetness as their sugars are consumed from within. If not too far gone, changes in chlorophyll due to heat can mask the discoloration. Although their nutritional value with have diminished slightly, as long as they still taste good, consume them without worry.

And count your blessings for living in a culture where a spot on a vegetable is so, um, foreign.

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MissChristina
MissChristina August 22, 2013

If I were eating them, I wouldn't care about the spots as long as they're still crisp and sweet. But I guess I was overly worried for feeding them to my baby. Thanks for your thoughts!!

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Dale
Dale September 10, 2018

My personal opinion: that those "brown stripes" are bruising made by the wire tongs that separate the bean pods from the vines by machines that pick green beans. Check out this YouTube "Green Bean Harvest - Less Farms - Greenford Ohio" video at about 2 minutes in and you'll see what I mean https://www.youtube.com... There is more machine harvesting and less hand picking as farm labor shortages intensify.

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