Like beans, peas have accompanied mankind as a foodstuff for millennia. Archaeological remains can be dated to 8000 BC. Peas are put to good use, and not only in the kitchen - as a vegetable side dish, as mushy peas and of course as main ingredient for split pea soup - but also in agriculture for animal feedstuffs and a livestock feed and as a green manure in farming.
Legumes like peas are important in organic farming and are increasingly grown in vegetable patches and self-catering gardens to enhance the soil.
Worth mentioning is also the chickpea which is very common in oriental countries and South America and is currently enjoying increased popularity in Central Europe.