Pulses are essential part of our lives. Although fundamental and crucial, they do not occupy the center stage of our daily discourses. We look into the humble realm of pulses, every year, when we celebrate World Pulses Day on 10 February. According to the United Nations, this day is dedicated to highlighting the importance of pulses and their nutritional benefits.
Pulses are a class of foods that includes dry peas, beans, lentils, lupins, and chickpeas. They are known for being rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. As a bonus, they are also low in fat and sugar. Pulses are a staple of many countries, and they are used in a variety of dishes.
The Beginning of a Tradition
The history of this dedicated day dates back to 2013 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to proclaim 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) led the celebration of the first International Year of Pulses. This event was a huge success in augmenting public awareness about the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses
Nearly five years later, in 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared February 10 as World Pulses Day. This day was established to emphasize the pertinence of pulses in the major task of mitigating global food challenges, improving human health, in addition, improving soil health.
The Theme for Pulses 2024
Every year, there is theme added to the celebrations, in 2023, it was 'Pulses for a Sustainable Future'. This year the theme for World Pulses Day is '#Pulses: nourishing soils and people'. The theme lays emphasis on the importance of pulses in improving soil health and nutrient cycling, which can lead to increased crop productivity and food security thereby creating a cycle of an effective system. Under the existing circumstances, The theme also highlights the role of pulses in addressing the dire situation inflicted by climate change and thereby promote environmental sustainability.
A traditional Indian Thali is all inclusive
A traditional Indian meal, a typical Indian thali includes a variety of dishes that incorporates all nutrients that are required to maintain good health. From millets, to grains, to legumes, pulses, salads or raita/kachumbar and much more. Talking specifically about pulses, a classic example of a dish which is a part of any thali is Dal. Every thali definitely has one lentil preparation or dal. A bowl of dal comes packed with several nutrients. Infact pulses like moong and toor are hailed for their weighloss properties as well. This, primarily because they are a rich source of protein. One bowl of Dal prepared from any of the pulses and legumes is a rich source of protein that forms a part of a daily Indian meal.
World Pulses Day is understood as global platform to raise awareness about the crucial role pulses play, it is also about advocating their consumption worldwide. The day also presents an opportunity to highlight the challenges facing food systems today and to identify solutions, such as increasing the production of pulses and improving their nutritional quality