2016: The International Year Of Pulses


Can you name the bean or pea?

Thanks to RB we know that the United Nations (UN) has deemed 2016 the year of the bean:

UN Launches 2016 International Year Of Pulses, Celebrating Benefits Of Legumes, UN Press Release, 10 November 2015

Let me pull out a few bits.

“They have been an essential part of the human diet for centuries,” [FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva] added, “Yet, their nutritional value is not generally recognized and is frequently under-appreciated.”

Would you agree with that? I would. The bean is under-appreciated. And …

Speaking about their nutritional value, the FAO chief said that pulses have double the proteins found in wheat and triple the amount found in rice.

I tried to depict that in my graph, from this post: Beans Are The Best Source Of Protein In A Vegan Diet:


This part gets me all excited…

There are hundreds of varieties of pulses grown throughout the world. Popular ones include all varieties of dried beans, such as kidney beans, lima beans, butter beans and broad beans. But also chickpeas, cowpeas, black-eyed peas and pigeon peas.

Further, the agency credited pulses as the key ingredients in many signature regional and national dishes across the world – from falafel to dahl to chili and baked beans.

… because I want to try all these beans and all these bean dishes.

This is a good place to retell Dan Buettner’s story of beans. Buettner is the author of the popular book, The Blue Zones. For over a decade, Buettner traveled the world studying pockets of people who live long lives with low rates of disease.

Here’s what he says about beans:

The cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world was the humble bean. One five-country study showed that beans were the only food that predicted a longer life — for each 20-gram serving (about two tablespoons) eaten a day, the chance of dying dropped by 8%. Fava beans in Sardinia, black beans in Costa Rica, lentils in Ikaria, soybeans in Okinawa.

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