Dried beans such as black or pinto beans have a dense meaty texture and a rich full flavor. They are a good source of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Beans are also easy to prepare and can be used in Mexican dishes, chili, or for baked beans. High in fiber, low in cholesterol, beans are ideal for everyday cooking, as well as for long-term emergency storage. Beans have up to a 30-year shelf life and are easy to pack and store in cans, large quantity bags, or buckets making them convenient and portable.