Eating pulses is a great way to show your support for World Food Day, says Chef Michael Smith


World Food Day addresses role of food and agriculture on climate

#WFD2016 #LovePulses

WINNIPEG, Oct. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Chef Michael Smith is asking Canadians to support World Food Day on October 16 by taking a climate-friendly approach to food and eating more pulses. This year's World Food Day theme is "Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too."

"Every Canadian family can make a positive and immediate impact on our climate by eating pulses," says Chef Smith, who has served as Canada's International Year of Pulses Ambassador. "Peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils are good for your health and the health of the planet."

Pulses are an earth friendly food. They have a low carbon footprint and are a water-efficient source of protein. Pulses also improve soil health by feeding soil microbes.

"When farmers grow pulses, they feed millions of people in a way that actually gives back to the land. Pulses, in partnership with a range of other foods, represent how Canadians can make a positive impact on the environment," says Denis Tremorin, Director of Sustainability at Pulse Canada.

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

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

According to the FAO, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable.

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.


Canada is 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, and plays an important role in sustainable food production.

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 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 between the nitrogen fixing soil bacteria and the legume root.
  • Pulses are efficient users of water. They require only 1/2 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.


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


Moroccan Pulse Dip:
For World Food Day 2016:

©Chef Michael Smith


All over the world pulses – dried beans, lentils, chickpeas and dried peas – are a basic family cooking staple. These edible seeds of the legume family are prized by cooks everywhere for their amazing nutritional profile, flavour, affordability and ease of preparation. And, farmers prize them too. Pulses are sustainably grown and actually give back to the soil. Throughout the Mediterranean, pulses often star in simple dips served with hearty rustic breads. In honour of World Food Day 2016, feel free to use your favourite pulse. Just by using pulses, you're doing something good for your health and the health of the planet. You'll impress yourself in your own kitchen with your global savvy! 

Makes enough for 8 people as a starter or 4 as a main course

Choose your favourite pulse:

2 cups of dried chickpeas or beans
2 cups of dried green lentils
2 19-ounce cans of lentils, beans or chickpeas

For the stew

1 shredded onion
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of ginger powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of paprika
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of cumin
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of turmeric or curry powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of black pepper
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt
2 ripe tomatoes, grated through the largest holes of a standard box grater, skin discarded
2 heaping tablespoons (18 mL) of tomato paste
a handful of tender parsley or oregano leaves and stems, lightly chopped
1 loaf of rustic whole-grain bread for tearing and sharing

  • Ready your pulse choice. If you choose dried chickpeas or beans soak them overnight in lots of cold, clear water than drain well and proceed. In a hurry? You can simply cover the pulses with water, boil for a minute or so, turn off the heat and soak the works for just an hour before draining and proceeding. Dried lentils don't need soaking and are ready to go as soon as you measure them. For canned pulses, rinse and drain well but omit 4 cups of the water.
  • Measure the pulses, seasonings, tomatoes and tomato paste into a medium sauce pan. Add 8 cups of water for dried chickpeas or beans, 6 cups for dried lentils and just 2 cups for canned pulses. Over medium high heat, while stirring gently, bring the works to a full furious boil. Adjust the heat lowering the pace to a slow steady simmer.
  • Cover tightly and continue cooking until the pulses are tender and delicious. Figure just 10 minutes or so for canned pulses, about 30 minutes for lentils and an hour or so for chickpeas and beans.
  • Turn off the heat and rest for 10 minutes or longer as you ready the rest of your meal. At the last minute stir in the parsley. Pour the dip into a large festive bowl or several smaller ones. Serve and share with lots of rustic bread for tearing and dipping.


Pulse Tips

Legumes are seeds thus they have a protective coating that toughens when exposed to acidic ingredients. Too sour and they simply won't cook tender. But a little bit of sour from a tomato helps that same protective skin toughen up just a little bit so it can cook and absorb all the flavours of Morocco without turning to mush!

SOURCE Pulse Canada

Image with caption: "Chef Michael Smith in a Canadian lentil field (photo credit David Stobbe / (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Moroccan Pulse Dip: For World Food Day 2016 (Copyright Chef Michael Smith) (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Pulses (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas) are the edible seeds of the legume plant. Learn more at! (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Pulse Canada is the national association representing the growers, processors and exporters of Canadian pulse crops (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas) (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Contact: Saskia Brussaard, Crave PR, / 905-634-2430


Organization Profile

Pulse Canada

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890