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  • Young Climate Warriors

Carbon-busting pulses ... are you up for it?

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Are you feeling adventurous? It’s time to raid the store cupboard! (Okay, you’d better check with your parent/carer first please.) Can you find some PULSES to create a meal that doesn’t have any meat or dairy in it? PULSES … did you say pulses? But what on earth are they? Pulses are edible seeds that grow in pods and are then left to dry out. Have you ever bought peas in their shells and popped them out yourself – how many peas did you find in each pod? Or have you awoken the broad beans from their ‘blankety’ beds? Well, pulses are like these – but dried.

In your store cupboard, you might find a range of beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. There are even pulses called ‘cow peas’ – have you heard of them? If your pulses are stored in a packet, rather than a tin, they might need to be soaked in water to rehydrate them. Go on … raid that kitchen cupboard and see what you can find! If you’d like to learn more about pulses and need some recipe ideas, you might like this ‘Pulses’ website.

Pulses have high levels of protein and fibre, and they also contain important vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and folate. But how important is protein in our diet? Protein is one of the main food groups and human bodies need it for cell growth and repair. The World Health Organisation recommends that 10-15% of our daily energy intake should be protein. Methane emissions arising from livestock and fish farming are fuelling climate change; eating more plant-based proteins, such as pulses and wholegrains, can reduce this impact, as well as reducing related water and land requirements.

Insects are another nutrition-dense source of protein. How adventurous are you? Do you think you’ll be up for eating insects when they hit the supermarket shelves? Grasshoppers, ants, wasps, beetles, crickets and cockroaches – are among the insect delicacies enjoyed by over 2 billion people. Insects are already being commercially farmed in Europe for animal feed, and Roasted Cricket snacks are available in some supermarkets! Our climate is changing and we need to change too. You may enjoy these BBC Newsround videos which show pupils tasting some ‘bug biscuits’.

If you’re fascinated by insects ‘the little things that run the world’! – it’s NATIONAL INSECT WEEK in the UK – see what’s organised near you and learn more by visiting their website. Don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you’ve cooked up an adventurous ... or even pulsating ... plant-based meal


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