Celebrate Earth Month with a Plate of Pulses

Eating beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils is a great way to take action during Earth Month

WINNIPEG, April 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadians can make a real difference in the health of the planet simply by adding a half-cup of pulses to their plate.  Peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas are an earth friendly food.

Pulses have a low carbon footprint and enrich the soil where they are grown by feeding soil microbes and improving soil health. Thousands of Canadian farmers are decreasing their greenhouse gas impact by growing pulses. Pulses are also a water-efficient source of protein and improve soil health when they are grown in rotation with other crops.

Like biking to work or turning the thermostat down, eating pulses is another way that Canadians can reduce their environmental impact. In fact, eating a serving of lentils once a week for a year is equivalent to turning off a standard 8 watt LED bulb (equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent lightbulb) for 735 hours or 30 days. Eating a serving of lentils every day for a year equals turning off an LED bulb for 5145 hours or 214 days. 

Watch a video about pulses and sustainability here: http://www.pulses.org/future-of-food/pulses-sustainable-food

Pulses and Environmental Sustainability Facts

  • According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the production of food has the largest environmental impact of any human activity.
  • Pulses are among a small group of food crops that draw their own nitrogen from the air we breathe. As a result, pulses require less commercial nitrogen fertilizer than other crops.
  • Pulses are able to do this through a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing soil bacteria and the legume root.
  • Pulses are efficient users of water. They require only ½ to 1/10 the water needed to produce other sources of protein. Many pulses are adapted to dry environments making them well suited to dry environments such as the Canadian Prairies.
  • Growing pulses in rotation with other crops like wheat and canola enables the soil to support larger, more diverse populations of soil organisms that help maintain and increase soil fertility.

"Every Canadian family can contribute to the future of sustainable food production simply by eating pulses more often," says Chef Michael Smith, Canada's International Year of Pulses ambassador. "Pulses are versatile, nutritious, and so easy to cook. You can be proud knowing that your meal is good for the planet and your family."

Canadian pulses are in the spotlight in 2016 as the world celebrates International Year of Pulses. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to celebrate pulses' contribution to health, nutrition and environmental sustainability. IYP will demonstrate the contribution pulses can make toward global food security and helping the UN implement its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"Canada, the world's largest producer and exporter of dry peas and lentils and a major supplier of pulses to over 150 countries around the world, plays an important role in sustainable food production," says Denis Tremorin, Director of Sustainability, Pulse Canada. "When farmers grow pulses, they feed hundreds of millions of people in a way that actually gives back to the land. Eating pulses represents one more way Canadians can make a positive impact on the environment."

In addition to being good for the planet, pulses are a low-fat source of protein, fibre and many vitamins and minerals.  Pulses are an affordable part of a healthy diet and play an important role in the management of diet-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

More information about pulses can be found at www.pulses.org.

Pulse Canada is the national association representing growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulse crops (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas).

SOURCE Pulse Canada

Video with caption: "Video: Canadians can make a real difference in the health of the planet simply by adding a half-cup of pulses to their plate. Peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas are an earth friendly food.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1lVQhHqMbg#t=58

Image with caption: "Pulse Canada is the national industry association that represents growers, processors and traders of pulse crops in Canada. (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160411_C7757_PHOTO_EN_661428.jpg

For further information: Saskia Brussaard, Crave PR, saskia@cravepr.com / 905-634-2430


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