Seed World

Power of the Pulse

Lovers of peas, pinto beans, lentils and their leguminous cousins can now boost their appetites and cooking skills thanks to a colorful new book featuring recipes from international top chefs passionate about one of the world’s most versatile super foods: pulses.
Launched today by FAO, Pulses, nutritious seeds for a sustainable future” takes readers on a 190-page journey through kitchens and cultures across the world, delving into cooking pots and local histories to explore the indigenous roots, contemporary benefits and timeless flavors of dried bean cuisine.
In addition to providing an overview of pulses and the ways they benefit nutrition, health, biodiversity and food security, the book explains step-by-step what to look for when buying them, how to grow them at home, and how to cook them. It follows ten internationally acclaimed chefs on their daily trip to the market and joins them back to their kitchens as they prepare three easy, pulse-based dishes and share their best kept cooking secrets.
And the book doesn’t just cater to readers’ taste buds – it’s also packed with information, graphics and factoids on pulses: their diversity, where they’re grown and which countries grow and trade them, and their nutritional characteristics.
“It is a book filled with illustrations and beautiful photographs and shows the many ways in which pulses contribute to food security, sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and overall health,” FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said at the launch event taking place in Rome today. “Pulses provide an affordable alternative to animal protein  and are increasingly becoming an important crop  for small family farmers,” he added.
Special ambassadors to act as advocates 
At today’s ceremony, Graziano de Silva named UK food writer and blogger Jenny Chandler Special Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses 2016 for the Europe region. In addition to writing on her food blog, she’s the author of four cooking books, including one exclusively dedicated to pulse recipes.
She joins a group of regional ambassadors for the International Year who will support FAO in promoting the health and environmental benefit of pulses through international events and outreach to media.
In addition to Chandler, they are Joyce Boye from Canada (North America), Kadambot Siddique from India (Asia), Elizabeth Mpofu from Zimbabwe (Africa), and Magy Habib from Egypt (Near East). The nomination for Latin America and the Caribbean is being finalized.