Hooray for Pulses

You’re probably thinking,  “Well yes, of course, hooray for pulses because pulses (plural) means our hearts are beating, which means we’re alive.” For sure! But I’m talking about another kind of pulses, a crop group that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils. Here at the farm, we {heart} pulses!

Bean love via iyp2016.org

And we’re not alone in our adoration. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. They are hoping their focus will raise awareness about the protein power and health benefits of dried beans and peas, as well as highlight the economic advantages of growing them. Pulses have been an essential part of the human diet for centuries, contributing double the proteins found in wheat and triple the amount found in rice. They are also rich in micronutrients, amino acids, and B-vitamins. Pulse crops are one of the most sustainable crops a farmer can grow.

Bags of beans via iyp2016.org

It takes just 43 gallons of water to produce one pound of pulses, compared with 216 for soybeans and 368 for peanuts. They also greatly contribute to soil quality by fixing nitrogen. And growing them offers great potential to lift rural farmers out of poverty, as they can fetch two to three times the price of cereals, while processing them provides additional economic opportunities locally.

lentil_pilav
Check out the International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP2016) website for upcoming events, recipes, and piles of other inspiring info on pulses. It’s a great resource and we really truly love our pulses. We’ve been serving them up for 20+ years! My kids love it that most anyone can make NannyJane’s soups exactly the way she does. Haha. If you haven’t taken a peek, here’s a link, and Happy Year of the Pulses!