Monday, January 11, 2016

International Year of Pulses

Pulses are eaten all over the world
Since 1960, the United Nations has each year celebrated a different topic that deserves awareness or appreciation. 2015 was the International Year of Soils, and this year, the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses!

By designating this year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.
Pulses provide protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Like other plant-based foods, pulses contain no cholesterol and little fat or sodium.

Pulses are annual leguminous crops yielding grains or seeds within a pod, such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. A vital source of plant-based proteins, they play an important role in nutrition for people around the world who do not have enough access to meat. In addition, pulses have nitrogen-fixing properties which can contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.
Lima beans for Mother Leader gardens

Pulses are particularly important in Latin America, Africa and Asia where they make up a significant part of traditional diets and often grown by small farmers. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the main ingredient in hummus, and consumed in a variety of dishes all over the world. Red kidney beans and black beans are used in a wide range of South American and African dishes, and snow peas have become one of Guatemala's most important exports, nearly all of which are destined for the U.S.

To find ways to incorporate pulses into your cooking, visit

The Haiti Nutrition Security Program knows how important pulses are for healthy diets through their experiences with lima beans in Artibonite, Haiti. Read about the positive effect of pulses here.

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