Green Peas

Statistics

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019p
Number Of Contracts 176 175 182 175 156 139 148
Acres Contracted 16,004 16,708 15,590 13,432 12,028 11,345 13,653
Acres Harvested 15,654 15,688 15,873 14,578 13,526 12,972 12,178
Tons Harvested2 27,374 35,552 32,088 31,530 29,071 24,035 26.404
Gross Farm Value(.000)1 $10,081 $10,860 $9,889 $9,751 $10,049 $7,480 $8,721

1 Value Net of Seed

P = Preliminary

Source: Processor Information Returns

History

Green peas are one of the first crops cultivated by humans and are native to North Africa and Western Asia. 

By the Middle Ages, field peas where a staple in diets, used to keep famine away. In the early 17th century there was a clear distinction between garden peas and field peas. These crops were then introduced to the New World (North & South America) and regions around the globe by European colonization.

Frozen peas have been one of the most popular and wide spread frozen vegetable since Clarence Birdseye in the 1920s discovered that blanching peas before freezing results in bright green peas.

Nutrition & Health

Green peas are just as nutritious as they are tasty. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals, many of which are a very good source as defined by Health Canada. They contain especially high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They are also one of the best sources of plant-based protein and high in fiber which can be helpful in regulating blood sugar.

Green peas contain: potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients help keep blood pressure regulated which in turn helps ensure good heart health. Green peas contain antioxidants flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C which protects cells from damage, reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

Cooking Tips

  • Make a healthy and tasty salad dressing by pureeing a can of peas with seasonings and herbs.
  • Add frozen or canned peas to soups, rice, or salads for a quick extra serving.
  • Make Canned peas mushy and mix with feta cheese, pesto, garlic and cayenne pepper. Then spread the mixture thickly over toast or baguette pieces to make Peas on Toast.

Interesting Facts

  • While growing approximately 3 million tons of peas per year, Canada is currently the largest world producer and exporter of peas.
  • There are three modern species of peas and they are very complex genetically. Their precise domestication process has yet to be figured out.