Pythagoras viewed as either a Shamanistic shyster or intellectual innovator, is still one of the most important names in Western philosophy. He and his followers adhered to some rather strange rules such as not to stir fires with iron pokers or to eat meat or beans
This was because he believed that humans and beans were spawned from the same source, and he conducted a scientific experiment to prove it. He buried a quantity of beans in mud, let them remain there for a few weeks, and then retrieved them. He noted their resemblance to human foetuses, thus convincing himself of the intimate relationship between beans and humans. To eat a bean would therefore be akin to eating your grand mother. Equally, to crush, smash, or dirty a bean would be to harm a human. Therefore the rule they all agreed to abstain from beans.
Pythagoras also cherished silence because it involved deep reflection and meditation. All well and good I hear you say but what about this ban on eating beans?.
Was it the threat of an outbreak of mass group farting that would disturb the silence and break the spiritual contemplation of Pythagarus and his acolytes.?
Sadly there seems to be a more grown up and sensible explanation for this, as during those times there was a quite a nasty condition associated with the consumption of beans called “favism”, which is a form of haemolytic anaemia.
Nevertheless beans did play a part in his death. Trapped whilst on the run from a disaffected follower, he refused the only available means of escape, which involved trampling through a bean field, and so was captured and killed by his enemies.