Pulse Canada to focus on health leadership

Canada’s pulse industry organization says its new vision in its next four years is for the industry “to become a respected leader in health, wellness and the environment.”

Fresh off the release of new data on the health benefits of its peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas earlier this month in Toronto, Winnipeg-based Pulse Canada on Thursday updated its “industry vision” but added that it still includes making Canada the “preferred supplier” of pulses to the world.

“Creating more sustainable food production systems and increasing pulse consumption by promoting their health benefits will strengthen the contribution that agriculture makes to the health of Canadians and the environment,” Pulse Canada chairman Barry Grabo, who farms at Strathmore, Alta., said in a release Thursday.

Research, compiled from across North America and packaged by Pulse Canada for release during the Pulse Health and Food Symposium in Toronto Feb. 5, shows eating pulses “not only contributes to overall health, it can help combat chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity, which are all on the rise,” the organization said.

Furthermore, pulses “also have a unique environmental value, creating their own nitrogen and producing less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of other crops.”

“Finding food and ingredient-based solutions to improve the health of Canadians and people around the world is a top priority,” said Mike Donnelly-Vanderloo of the Ontario Coloured Bean Growers Association in Pulse Canada’s release. “As an ingredient, pulses are a prescription for good health and we need to get that message out far and wide.”

Value chain partners, such as retailers, food companies and restaurants, have already shown “strong interest” in the potential of using pulses as a food and feed ingredient, Pulse Canada said.

“There is a world of opportunity to develop new markets associated with health, nutrition and the environment, while continuing to serve existing markets and build the Canadian pulse brand.”

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