The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses “to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.” Pulses are the edible seeds of annual legume crops, the most familiar varieties being lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. High in protein and amino acids, this dietary staple can help end global malnutrition while preventing health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Ecologically, pulse crops’ nitrogen-fixing properties increase soil fertility, while their greenhouse gas emissions are comparatively low.
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