‘Anything is Pulse-able’ shows how lentils, peas and beans, which are all types of pulses, are the unsung heroes of kitchens around the world. Used across many cultures, they are nutritional and culinary powerhouses. Not only are they a versatile kitchen staple, they are also nutrient rich and affordable.
Anything is Pulse-able
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.
Pulses are good for health
Eating pulses such as lentils, peas and beans all count towards your five-a-day and help protect against disease.
Pulses are nutrient rich, affordable and sustainable sources of plant protein. As well as being significant sources of protein and micronutrients, they also contain high quantities of fibre.
High-fibre intake from pulses has been associated with reduced blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease and according to the British Heart Foundation they can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer.
Three heaped tablespoons count as one of your 5-a-day, and will provide the potassium, zinc, B-vitamins and antioxidants you need to keep healthy.
Pulses can save you money
Eating pulses can save you money. Adding pulses to your meals can bring the cost down and keep the flavour up.
Pulses are affordable and consumed across the globe. In a time of rising food prices, pulses remain affordable and accessible for everyone, and we want to ensure that the current cost of living pressures do not prevent people eating healthy and sustainable diets.
Pulses have a long shelf life and are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. On average, pulses cost less than £2 for a family of four.
Pulses are good for the environment
They directly benefit soil quality by fixing nitrogen and protecting soil microbes, reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers. Compared to animal protein sources, pulses have lower carbon and water footprints.
Pulses because of their role in improving sustainability, through soil management, also positively impact food security. Soil degradation is a major threat to food security in many areas of the world. Africa is particularly impacted by soil degradation, yet pulses are part of traditional diets, and often grown by small farmers. By improving the crop patterns using pulses, farmers can improve their yields and limit the long-term threat to food security that soil degradation represents.
Compared to other sources of protein, plant proteins produce very low levels of GHG emissions. Producing 1kg of beans, one of the most commonly consumed pulses, emits around 2kg of CO2e. In comparison, 1kg of beef from a non-dairy herd produces 100kg of CO2e. Even chicken, which on average is the lowest emission meat, produces 10kg CO2e per kilogram.
Pulses utilize soil bacteria to draw nitrogen from the air. This natural process replaces the need to add nitrogen fertilizers in pulse crops, which means pulses use half the energy inputs of other crops.