World Pulses Day: Celebrating A Sustainable & Nutritious Future

Annually, World Pulses Day is celebrated on February 10 to spread awareness around the benefits of eating pulses and acknowledging their potential and role in improving the health of human beings and making the environment more sustainable. Celebrating this day means celebrating what pulses bring to the table, irrespective of the meal you are having.

Video Credit: Chef Ranveer Brar/ YouTube

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Pulses Day recognises the ‘fundamental role they (pulses) play in the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.’

Here are a few facts that you must know about pulses,

Add Diversity To Diets

No matter what kind of diet you prefer, pulses help to add diversity and colour to it. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or eggetarian, adding a variety of pulses can help you reduce food loss and waste while improving the nutritional quotient of your meals. They also have a long shelf-life, which allows you to stock them up in your pantry and use them for months.

Add Employment Opportunities 

With the increasing demand for plant-based diets due to their many benefits, pulses have found new respect among people with different dietary preferences. It has opened markets for vendors and farmers and has generated employment opportunities, especially in the rural areas and informal sectors in India. 

Sources Of Essential Nutrients

It is widely known that pulses are suggested by nutritionists because they contain essential vitamins and minerals that help the body stay energised and fight diseases. They are rich in fibre, zinc, iron, folate, protein, and magnesium. They are among the best sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians.

Improve Soil Biodiversity

Many people aren’t aware that pulses can improve the biodiversity of soil. When farmers grow these on their lands, pulses have been known to increase microbial activity and biomass. They can fix nitrogen and reduce the need for farmers to add synthetic and chemical fertilisers to the soil.

Help With Climate Change

If farmers include pulses in crop rotation, it will allow them to give time to the soil to replenish itself with nutrients. They will need less fertiliser to be used to increase yield in their fields. Thus, it can prevent land pollution and chemicals from leaching into water and food items.

How Pulses Contribute To Sustainable And Nutritious Future

Humans have known to grow pulses for centuries now but not everyone knows how to use them to their full potential. For example, growing chickpeas improves the quality of soil, while growing kidney beans helps to minimise the use of fertilisers. 

To meet the ever-growing demands of the rapidly rising population, reports indicate that lands are being exploited to increase production. The world has lost so many forests that they could be converted into commercial farm lands leading to exploitation of soil too. Pulses can help to get that in control. Moreover, adding them to your diet can help you reduce expenses on expensive nutritional substitutes to meet the demands for protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. In comparison to sugarcane, rice, wheat, cotton, and soybean, pulses require a lesser amount of water to grow. It is one of the best crops for farmers to grow in areas where they face scarcity of water. Whether raw or as a finished good, pulses are a win-win for everyone.