2016 has been declared the International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations, to increase awareness and consumption of pulses—the dry edible seeds of pea, bean, lentil, or chickpea plants.
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers wants you to get involved through one of our IYP activities:
MPSG will award $50,000 to deserving ideas that increase awareness or consumption of pulses. The Why Pulses? Challenge is open to all Manitoba elementary and secondary schools, and community groups. Thank you to all the entrants! MSPG will be announcing the winners shortly.
Commit to eating pulses on a regular basis in 2016. Sign the MPSG Pulse Pledge and learn why pulses are good for people and good for the planet. Join the global pulse movement. Sign the Pulse Pledge!
Eager to learn more about pulses? Interested in new recipes? Want to make friends with a six foot tall kidney bean? The MPSG Bean Team is traveling the province in 2016, spreading food, fun and information. Contact us if you’d like Kid Bean and the Bean Team to attend your school, community group or event.
International Year of Pulses – A National and Global View
Canada is a global leader in pulse production, with over 30% of world pea production and 40% of world lentil production. Canada is the largest exporter of pulses in the world, exporting to over 150 countries.
During IYP, activities and events are being held around these four important themes:
1) Health and Nutrition
Pulses are high in protein, fiber, and vitamin content; they have a low glycemic index; they’re gluten-free and generally non-allergenic; and their flour or puree can be used to improve the nutritional content of many existing food products. Pulses as part of a healthy balanced diet have been shown to have an important role in preventing illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Because of their role in improving soil sustainability, pulses can also improve a farmer’s yield, and limit the long-term threat to food security that soil degradation represents in so many places.
2) Environmental Benefits
Pulses are an important component of crop rotations, as they require less fertilizer than other crops and can fix their own nitrogen. This helps improve the yield of future crop rotations. Pulses also improve soil quality by feeding soil microbes, which helps crops to thrive and which offers greater protection against disease-causing bacteria and fungi. New research in breeding and agronomics will continue to improve our pulses, adding to these environmental benefits.
3) Market Access and Stability
Manitoba farmers grow about 100-million dollars worth of pulse crops each year. Ensuring pulses can be grown and marketed locally and internationally, with maximum safety and minimal restrictions, is vital. Pulse production in Manitoba is a food source globally and economic driver locally and provincially.
4) Creating Awareness
In many countries, there is little public knowledge of pulses, their attributes, or their ability to contribute to increased food security and environmental sustainability. IYP is an opportunity to increase awareness and consumption of Manitoba pulses.
For more information on IYP activities around the world:
iyp2016.org – The international website for IYP.
iypcanada.ca – IYP events and activities in Canada.
pulses.org – Insight into the nutritional and health benefit of pulses, with extensive pulse recipes.
Calendar of IYP events available here.