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Celebrating the International Year of Pulses with a culinary event

Pulses have been an integral part of human diets for thousands of years, with ancient civilizations growing beans, chickpeas and lentils as far back as 7000 - 8000 BC. Pulses still form a core part of traditional food and culture in many countries.   

Rich in nutrients, minerals and B-vitamins, with high iron and zinc content, and a source of protein with zero cholesterol, pulses are important for combatting malnutrition, alleviating poverty, and improving human health.

In addition, pulses are also little miracles when it comes to reducing water usage, because they require very little water to produce when compared with animal protein. For example, producing a kilo of Daal (lentils) only requires 50 litres of water, compared to 4325 litres of water to produce a kilo of chicken or 13,000 litres to produce a kilo of beef. Pulses also have a low carbon footprint, are drought tolerant and frost-hardy, and enrich the soil where they grow - thus reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and making them important for sustainable agriculture.

To raise public awareness of the many benefits provided by these small seeds, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. As a contribution to this International Year, UNECE, FAO (the coordinator of the International Year of Pulses) and the Permanent Missions of Turkey, Pakistan, Namibia, Italy, as well as others, will host a culinary event where visitors will be able to taste traditional pulse dishes from around the world.

Join us on 19 April 2016, from 13.15 until 15.00, Bar de l'Escargot, E-building, 3rd Floor, at the Palais des Nations.

This event will also showcase the large variety of pulses, explain their nutritional and environmental benefits and showcase their role in sustainable development and food security.

For further information, please contact Liliana Annovazzi-Jakab at UNECE (liliana.annovazzi-jakab@unece.org) or Silvano Sofia at FAO (ssofia@unog.ch).