If you don’t have pulses on your plate this Wednesday, get some. If you do have pulses on your plate, get some more. It’s Global Pulse Day, making it a good day – possibly the best of the year – to celebrate and salivate over this diverse, delicious foodstuff.
On January 18th, chickpeas, garden peas, runner beans, baked beans and lentils of any colour will be given the equivalent of their second annual global round of applause for being tasty, nutritious, cheap and widely available. Global Pulse Day was called Pulse Feast last year, part of the UN-orchestrated International Year of the Pulses, but its fancy new name will be used from now on to indicate the 24 hours when all things leguminous are celebrated and promoted.
And pulse promotion is vital given that we all need to be eating more. New analysis of the modelling behind last year’s Eatwell Guide – the theoretical “plate” of food the government recommends we eat for a healthy, balanced diet – reveals why an even larger “slice” needed to be dedicated to pulses … and a far smaller one to animal products.
The Oxford University research confirms what the Eatwell Guide told us in March 2016: that compared to current levels, we should be consuming 85 per cent more beans and pulses and 54 per cent more fruit and veg, while cutting back on red and processed meat by 75 per cent and cheese by 85 per cent.
Study lead Professor Mike Rayner said: “The Eatwell Guide provides all of us with a clear indication of what foods we should be eating. It boils down to eat less meat and processed foods and more plant-based foods, but these new analyses also flesh out what this means precisely. And, for the first time, the recommendations are based on sound science.”
If you’re a keen bean-lover, you can get involved with Global Pulse Day by organising your own pulse-related event. It can be big or small, from a corporate event to a simple dinner with the family, provided you’re raising awareness of this understated food and what it can do for our health and that of the planet. Register here or email [email protected] for help promoting your event, and don’t forget to take photos and use social media to spread the word, using the hashtag #GlobalPulseDay.