Beans mean anything is pulseable

By Charlotte Jones, Communications Manager at Eating Better

Rarely have the twin pressures of the environment and the bottom line been drawn into such sharp focus at the same time. Menu makeovers both in and out of home offer a solution to both the cost of living and climate crises. And pulses can be at the very heart of any such makeover.

The cost of living crisis has made us consider our purchasing decisions way more closely. Pulses are a simple solution that are great for our pockets, our health and our planet.

A new campaign from the Eating Better alliance, Anything is Pulse-able, launching on 6 January, highlights delicious recipes as well as handy tips and tricks on how to incorporate more pulses into your go-to favourite meals. We’ll be looking at the health and environmental benefits of adding more pulses, such as chickpeas, beans and lentils. Tinned pulses, in particular, have a long shelf life, minimising restaurant and household waste, can easily be used in batch cooking, and are a great vehicle for flavour.

We’re calling on all foodservice operators to pack more pulses onto their plates. They’re an integral, versatile, nutritious and flavourful part of cuisines the world over, from soups and stews to dahl and moi moi.

If you’re in the hospitality industry and would like to support the campaign, we’d love you to get involved. Here’s how you can do it.

Share your favourite pulse dishes on social media in a photo or short video, share using the #AnythingIsPulseable hashtag and create some buzz around beans! We know that lots of you will have shared these with the SRA as a One Planet Plate.

Pulses in all their glory

Raise your customers’ pulse

Pulses are crowd-pleasers! As you know, some of the best known and most popular dishes containing pulses are curries, for example lentil dahl and spinach and chickpea curry. Lentil bolognese and lasagnes are also some popular takes on traditional western dishes. Most vegetable burgers are primarily made using pulses.  They can be made into snacks, blended for baby purees and made into dips. The options are endless and truly ‘Anything is Pulse-able’!

Pulses pack a healthy punch

Pulses are health superheroes! These adaptable ingredients are less expensive than other sources of protein and have more fibre and micronutrients making them the perfect ingredient for a healthy and sustainable diet. Currently, all age groups in the UK are consuming less fibre than the recommended 30g a day (18g on average), with only 4% of children aged 11-18 meeting the recommended amount. Just one portion of pulses provides about a third of the fibre you need for the entire day according to the British Heart Foundation.

Pulses for the planet

Pulses are great for the environment too. There are an increasing number of pulse varieties being grown in the UK, by the likes of Hodmedod’s, and while most tinned varieties are imported from the US and Canada, the environmental impact is significantly less than meat or dairy. Producing 1kg of beans, one of the most commonly consumed pulses, emits around 2kg of CO2e. In comparison, 1kg of beef from a non-dairy herd produces 100kg of CO2e. Even chicken, which on average is the lowest emission meat, produces 10kg CO2e per kilogram.

Pulses also require much less synthetic fertiliser – a major source of air and water pollution, as well as a key cause of agricultural GHG emissions – and naturally trap nitrogen and phosphorus from the atmosphere within the soil.

Organisations within the Eating Better alliance and beyond are supporting this campaign through sharing recipes and getting the word out. We’d love to have you on board! If you’d like more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, get in touch with me on [email protected]

The campaign website will go live very soon.

Eating Better is a movement for change of sixty organisations working to accelerate the transition from producing and eating too much meat and dairy to a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system that is better for animal welfare and for nature.

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