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  • Young Climate Warriors

We're thinking chickpeas, beans and lentils! Time for some carbon-busting pulses?

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

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 all seeds that grow in pods – normally 1 – 12 per pod. They are harvested after they’ve been left to dry out. Pulses include many types of dried beans, dried peas, chickpeas, and lentils – there are even pulses called ‘cow peas’ – have you heard of them? Because pulses are all ‘dried’ some of them need to be soaked in water for a long time to re-hydrate them. If you’re using pulses that are stored in a tin, then there is no need to re-hydrate them. Go on raid that kitchen cupboard and see what you can find! (if you’d like to find out more about pulses, and recipe ideas you might like this website -

By trying to eat more plant-based foods such as pulses, wholegrains and vegetables, we can make a massive difference to the amount of carbon equivalent emissions arising from food production – whilst still getting enough of the protein and minerals our bodies need. Look a little further down to find out more about cows, sheep, fish and METHANE – and then decide if you’d like to be brave with the pulses!

Don’t forget to let your voice be heard and HIT THE RED BUTTON when you’ve cooked up an adventurous ... or even pulsating ... plant-based meal!

METHANE is a really powerful greenhouse gas – its impact on climate change is around 34 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period – so we need to try and reduce the amount of methane emitted to help tackle climate change. The main source of global methane emissions is natural wetlands, this is followed by agriculture, fossil fuel burning, and waste.

You have probably heard that cows, sheep and goats produce lots of methane when they burp. Did you know that fish-farming also produces methane because fish poo and uneaten fish food gathers at the bottom of ponds where there is barely any oxygen, making it the perfect environment for methane to be produced. Rice paddy fields are also a source of methane. By reducing our consumption of industrially farmed meat and farmed fish by eating more pulses, wholegrains and vegetables we can help to lower our impact on climate change.

If you’d like to find out more about which foods contribute most to climate change you can click to try out the BBC’s climate change food calculator.

If you are stuck for recipe ideas and have a tin of white beans like chickpeas, butter beans, cannellini beans (any type will do), why not make a delicious hummus dip? You’ll need a tin of white beans, 1 tablespoon cider or wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil; a clove of garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Combine them all in a blender or food processor and gradually add water until the mixture is spreadable. Enjoy with some bread or carrot sticks!

Don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you’ve created your plant-based carbon-busting meal!


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