Pulses: Earth and Health’s Super ‘Buddies’

Despite the growing awareness that meat consumption is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and that reducing it is crucial for a sustainable future, a study confirms that European nations do not meet recommendations for legume consumption due to a lack of knowledge and cultural tradition.

Legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils, are dried, edible seeds of leguminous plants that provide a nutritious and healthy superfood option. These versatile foods can grow in challenging environments and offer a sustainable alternative to meat proteins, making them a valuable addition to our diet. With 11 different types and hundreds of cultivated varieties available, legumes provide a wide range of options for a healthy and sustainable diet.

The most paradoxical fact is that in Europe, legumes are primarily grown as animal feed, while their potential as human food is underutilized.

Our global population has just reached eight billion, and we are in the midst of a climate crisis. This calls for three things that legumes can provide: 1. Food production that can feed a growing population; 2. Climate-friendly production with minimal greenhouse gas emissions; 3. An economically viable production and end product.

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329321003372?via%3Dihub

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