The year of 2016 was declared the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations at the 68th General Assembly (FAO). As an intern of Partnership for Global Justice, I am working on promoting the benefits of pulses, as well as sustainability and food security.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, “pulses are a type of leguminous crop that are harvested solely for the dry seed”. Pulses include all beans, peas, and lentils. They are a low-fat source of protein, micronutrients (iron, magnesium, etc.), and fiber. According to the Global Pulse Confederation, pulses are “comprised of 23% protein and only 1% fat with only about 125 calories per ½ cup”. Pulses are delicious and healthy. They help prevent and control diabetes, reduce risk of heart diseases, reduce cholesterol, and increase level of iron, especially in women and pregnant women.
I chose to focus on the pulses not only because of their great nutritious values and low cost, but also because they can be grown at home. Family and individuals who live in “food deserts” have little access to healthy food. Low-income families also face the same issue. The second Sustainability Development Goal is “Zero Hunger”. We are striving to end hunger and food insecurity, and promote sustainability. I believe that bringing pulses to families is one small thing I can do to contribute to this global effort.
I am currently working with Dr. Kelly McFall, my advisor, and two other students, Nate Razafindrabe and Lauren Rust. We are bringing pulses to students in an elementary school or a middle school in Wichita, Kansas. We are going to teach them about the benefits of pulses and how to grow them indoors. Razafindrabe, a Biology student, has life-long experience in agriculture, especially in growing pulses. On the other hand, Rust, a Secondary Education major, is helping me craft a lesson plan for the students. We are working together to make this project a reality. My hope is to educate young students on the benefits of pulses and how to grow them, as well as to give them a fun experience.