2016 is the International Year of the Pulses

Parul Kharod writes:  The 68th United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016 is the International Year of Pulses (IYP) and here at P-POD we love beans (our blog is called the P-POD Pulse!). We are happy to share this information AND have a food drive at this year’s conference.

The purpose of the IYP campaign is to heighten public awareness of the nutritional, economic, and environmental benefits of pulses and legumes.


The key messages of this campaign:

  1. Pulses are highly nutritious and are an important source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein.
  2. Pulses are economically accessible and contribute to food security at all levels. They are inexpensive and have a long shelf-life.
  3. Pulses have important health benefits. They keep you satisfied for longer than many other foods. This can help with balancing blood sugars and thus managing many chronic diseases.
  4. Pulses have a positive impact on the environment because they fix nitrogen in the soil, thus increasing soil fertility and promoting sustainable agriculture.
  5. Pulses promote biodiversity. They also help increase organic matter and microbial biomass and activity (e.g. bacteria, fungi) in the soil. For this reason, they play a key role in crop rotation and the health of the planet.

There are many campaigns and competitions being held worldwide to celebrate the International Year of Pulses. Here are some ideas for ways you can be part of the movement.

  1. Eat more pulses! Include pulses more often in your daily diet and in your weekly meal planner, but also choose pulses at restaurants.
  2. Bring pulses into gatherings with family, friends and colleagues.
  3. Be social and talk about it! Post your pulse dishes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest and use the hashtags #LovePulses, #PulseFeast, and #IYP2016.
  4. Do you have a blog? Include links to IYP and www.Pulses.org in your posts.
  5. Donate pulses to your local food bank.


The Plant-based Prevention of Disease conference focuses on dietary changes to prevent chronic disease. One of the major changes deemed necessary in the standard American diet is the amount and source of protein. Research shows that we need to reduce the amount of animal protein we consume and focus instead on eating more beans and pulses as a source of plant-based protein.

To celebrate the International Year of Pulses, and to encourage people to eat more beans, we are planning a food drive at P-POD! All attendees are requested to bring 1-2 pound bags of dry beans or any variety of plain canned beans. All the food collected will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Everyone who brings in donations will be entered in a raffle to win some great prizes! Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this global initiative. Register for the conference now and plan on bringing your share of beans for the food drive!


[Post by P-POD Board Member and North Carolina local, Parul Kharod, RD]