When the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of the Pulses it was hoped pulses would get more attention and it appears that consumers are eating up the new information being shared by the bowl full.

The International Year of the Pulses is encouraging awareness of the struggles pulse farmers face on a daily basis.

IYP 2016 is also aiming to increase the general understanding about pulse crops globally, as well as how pulses can be used as a primary source of protein as well as a substitute for other essential nutrients.

Their goal is to increase demand, utilization, and production of pulses worldwide.

Jenn Walker, Research Officer for Alberta Pulse Growers says she is excited for this growing season since pulse crops have often been overlooked when it comes to their importance in agriculture.

Walker says that they “tend to have been a really minor crop traditionally and there’s not a lot of North American’s that have knowledge about it. ”

She also states that “Canada in particular is a huge supplier globally.”

According to Walker, pulse crops have a very positive environmental impact as well that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

The crops can make nitrogen from the atmosphere for food for themselves, reducing the amount of chemical inputs needed to help them grow.

The most popular pulse crops include chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas.