As the world begins to celebrate 2016 as the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses (IYP), Canada’s dry beans, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are stepping into the spotlight.
And to kick off the IYP, renowned Canadian chef and TV personality Michael Smith is publicly taking the pledge to eat more pulses in 2016.
“Many Canadians are familiar with lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans, even if they don’t know the term pulses, which are edible seeds of plants in the legume family,” says Michael Smith, Canada’s International Year of Pulses (IYP) ambassador. “Canada can be proud of the pulses we grow here. They are nutritional superstars, affordable and easy to prepare, and they are sustainably grown, meaning they are good for the planet, too.”
As part of the kick-off of the IYP, a Pulse Pledge campaign is being launched, with a goal of getting North Americans to eat more homegrown pulses.
The Pulse Pledge is a 10-week commitment to eat pulses each and every week. “I took the Pulse Pledge because it is an easy way to boost nutrition in almost any meal from tacos to burgers to desserts. And, my family loves them,” says Smith.
Canadians can take the Pulse Pledge at pulsepledge.com, and they are encouraged share their ideas on how they eat pulses through social media (with hashtags #pulsepledge and #lovepulses).
“We’re asking Canadians to make a commitment to eating pulses more frequently because just a half-cup can make a big difference,” says Smith.
According to a press release from Pulse Canada, pulses are a low-fat source of protein, fibre and many vitamins and minerals. And by eating pulses, Canadians can also help the environment and contribute to the future of sustainable food production, since pulses are a low-carbon, water-efficient source of protein that enriches the soil where they are grown.
The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to celebrate pulses’ contribution to health, nutrition and environmental sustainability, as well as to demonstrate the contribution pulses can make toward global food security and helping the UN implement its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to eliminate global hunger and poverty.