Collaboration efforts in agriculture continue to accelerate as the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council is working together with the Bean Council on an American Pulse Association. It is great news particularly in light of the Pulse Health Initiative. Tim McGreevy, CEO of the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council explained some of the key elements of the initiative to the International Food Trader magazine.
An American Pulse Association would provide support in three areas of importance to the pulse industry.
“One of the first needs that we have is to address a significant lack of health and nutrition research on these crops. Some of the money under this initiative would go to study the real nutritional benefits of consuming these crops in relation to obesity and associated diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers,” says McGreevy.
The second area of research would look at how pulse flours and fractions function as food ingredients with the hopes of adding value to pulses and introducing them into a wider array of food items. The third area looks to enhance pulse sustainability, such as the nitrogen-fixing ability of pulses, as well as yields.
“We have fallen well behind the major crops in terms of yield gains over the past 50 years,” notes McGreevy. “As the world population continues to expand, these crops are a key source of protein in the developing world and they are also a very inexpensive form of dietary fiber in the developed world that has problems with weight management. So we have to increase the yields of these low cost sources of protein and dietary fiber not only in this country but around the world, and the Pulse Health Initiative will help address that.”