BILLINGS — Farmers and consumers celebrated World Pulses Day on February 10, 2022. It’s a day designated by the United Nations to recognize the importance of pulses as a global food.
Tony Roelofs, Columbia Grain International (CGI) Vice President of Pulse Division, says that the celebration provides a great opportunity to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production, with the aim of enhancing food security and nutrition.
"World Pulses Day huge across the world," said Roelofs. "It's a day where everybody comes together and celebrates pulses, peas, lentils, chickpeas, and edible beans. This includes everyone from the consumer to the processor to the packager to the canner, to the distributor, to the farmer. We all come together and celebrate pulses. It's celebrated worldwide and we're working to bring the celebration back to our local communities where we have a presence."
Heather Ghekiere is a CGI commodity buyer from Chester, Mont. She explains why pulses have become so popular with consumers here in the United States and around the world.
"They're economically accessible plus they're shelf stable and rich in nutritional value," said Ghekiere. “Pulses are also gluten free and serve as both a vegetable and protein source for many in many diets."
CGI is also excited to launch it's new line of food products called Balanced Bushel made from pulses.
"It's all chickpeas, lentils, split peas and edible beans," said Roelofs. "We're taking it straight from the farmer and working to get it right in the store shelves near you. It's all product that's handled and processed by Columbia Grain and comes from our great farmers who are growing these pulses right here in the USA.”
CGI also reminds farmers as they get ready to hit the fields for spring planting, they’re encouraged to visit with their local Columbia Grain representatives about some of their new pulse specialty programs and varieties that all have premiums over traditional varieties and programs.