The federal government recently spent $870,000 to fund research for pulse crops, like peas and lentils. It’s a good investment — for farmers, for the nation, and even for the world. Pulses are local, high in fibre and low in fat. They can reduce cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, and the likelihood of obesity. Canada is the world’s largest exporter of this superfood, providing nearly 40 per cent of the amount on the export market.
It can be difficult to get the word out about research commitments such as this. But one key to grabbing the spotlight is to highlight pulses’ influence on the health of Canadians, and others worldwide. Pulses are a preventive medicine. If you can make peas and lentils more a part of your diet and prevent high blood pressure and a potential stroke, why not? Peas and lentils won’t make people get up off the couch. Nutrition is a great start to a better health regime, but it can’t solve the dilemma of inactivity.
One way to increase any food’s uptake is making sure consumers know how to prepare it. Pepper them with recipes and other information. Part of the federal announcement about pulses involved marketing their health benefits and nutritional values. Hopefully that can be interpreted broadly enough to include preparation tips and recipes, so people will actually be interested enough to consume them.