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Back to Spring 2013 PNN Articles

New videos explore pulse contribution to sustainable food

On April 22nd, in recognition of Earth Day, Pulse Canada launched two dynamic videos that demonstrate how pulses (peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils) can contribute to the sustainability of global food production, and how consumers can reduce the environmental impact of their diets by choosing to eat more pulses.

The first video titled Food of the Future focuses on challenges facing the global agricultural industry in feeding a growing world population, while soil and water resources become increasingly scarce and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise. The good news is that pulses make a positive environmental contribution to agricultural systems.

As a legume crop, pulses utilize a process called nitrogen fixation to draw nitrogen from the air as a fertilizer source. This ability means that pulses require half the non-renewable energy to grow than other crops. Pulse crops are also a water efficient protein source since they require less water to produce than other plant and animal sources of protein. Canadian pulse farmers are doing their part for the environment by protecting the soil that produces their crops. In the prairie provinces where the majority of Canadian pulses are grown, 82% of farmland is protected by conservation tillage practices.

A second video called Big Plans shares Pulse Canada’s vision of the future – a future where consumers can reduce the environmental footprint of their food choices every day, at every meal. Consumers often think about the cars they drive, the energy efficiency of their homes or how they reuse or recycle, as ways to reduce their impact on the environment. This video shows how consumers can further reduce their environmental impact by choosing to eat more pulses. Another part of Pulse Canada’s big plan is to encourage the development of new, innovative food products containing pulses.

A third video in the series, scheduled for release in May, captures the on-farm perspective, and includes interviews with two farmers, John Bennett and Lee Moats of Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canadian pulses are grown. This video explores what drives farmers to adopt environmentally friendly farming practices, and how pulse crops can positively impact the environmental footprint of their farms.

The new videos can be viewed at: