Carman, MB –The United Nations (UN) is officially launching the International Year of Pulses 2016 today in Rome, Italy; a coordinated effort among nations, growers groups, scientists and health experts to encourage people to eat pulses.
“We are excited to be a part of this global initiative,” says Francois Labelle, Executive Director of the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers (MPSG). “Pulses produced in our province are enjoyed locally and internationally, and we look forward to new opportunities to spread the message that pulses are good for people and good for the planet.”
Manitoba growers produced approximately $100-million of pulses in 2015, available in grocery stores in cans, bags and scoop-your-own bulk form. These dried seeds of legume crops – including dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils – are also found in prepared soups, snacks and flours. Pulses are high in protein, fibre and various vitamins, and have been linked to a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke.
With over 800 million people around the world suffering from acute or chronic undernourishment and a rising tide of health problems linked to poor diets, the International Year of Pulses 2016 aims to demonstrate the integral role these nutrient-dense foods have in global food security and nutrition.
“Pulses have great potential to help eradicate hunger, plus tackle many chronic health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes,” said Huseyin Arslan, President of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC), a global not-for-profit trade organization. “We congratulate the UN on its focus on pulses and their importance to global food security and nutrition.”
In January, MPSG will launch a consumer awareness campaign to encourage more Manitobans to eat pulses. “Pulses are considered the food of the future,” says Labelle, “because they provide excellent nutrition and require much less energy to produce than other crops. That sustainability is key in feeding our families and the world.”
MPSG represents 3,800 producers in Manitoba who grow soybeans, edible beans, peas, faba beans, lentils and chickpeas. Founded in 1984, MPSG’s mission is to provide production knowledge and market development through research, advocacy and collaboration.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Francois Labelle, PAg
204-745-6488 (ext 2)