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2016: FAO's International Year of Pulses
This year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has continued the tradition of the past few years (2014 – Year of Family Farming and 2015 – Year of Soils) by naming 2016 the International Year of Pulses. I will admit that here at ICAO, we were a bit puzzled when we first read this. “Pulses? Like, beans?” we asked. Compared to the Year of Family Farming, the Year of Pulses seemed less than exciting.
But after a bit of research and reflection, we became more and more enthusiastic about this theme and now, we can’t wait to celebrate the Year of Pulses to its maximum potential. Pulses, as it turns out, are far from mundane. In a world with an uncertain future climate, food security and environmental sustainability are the top priorities. Pulses are easy to grow, easy to store, and packed with protein, making them an ideal food to support both of these priorities. Pulses have the ability to transform people’s diets to include less meat, an aspect of agriculture that unfortunately contributes to a great deal greenhouse gases, and thus pulses are an excellent step to repairing the Earth.
We look forward to sharing our passion for pulses with you each month of the year. Starting in February, we will be featuring a different pulse each month to inform our readers of the environmental and nutritional benefits of pulses. Plus, we will include recipes for you to try at home. We hope that you are as excited as we are and that together, we can contribute toward a pulse-full future!