Why are pulses better for the planet?
Did you know, that pulses are the most sustainable form of protein to grow?
5 reasons why pulses are good for the planet:
- Great for soil health
- Less fertilisers and chemicals
- Low carbon footprint food
- Low food miles
- Less land and water usage
Great for soil health
Pulses enrich the soil they're grown in; they produce different compounds that feed the soil microbes, which benefit soil health. When they're harvested, they leave behind nitrogen-rich crop residues that the next crop benefits from.
Growing pulse crops in rotation amongst other crops allows the soil to support more diverse populations of soil organisms that help to maintain and increase soil fertility.
- Pulses let microbial life flourish
- Break disease, weed and insect cycles
- Increase diversity by helping crops to access nutrients
Less fertilisers and chemicals needed
Due to their nitrogen fixing properties, pulses provide a healthier soil that allows for a more resilient ecosystem and also protects wildlife.
Low carbon footprint food
Pulses use the soil bacteria to take the nitrogen from the air. It's a natural process called 'fixing nitrogen', and reduces the need for nitrogen fertilisers in pulses crops. This results in pulses using half the energy inputs of other crops, giving them a much lower carbon footprint than other foods.
Low food miles
At The Honest Bean Co, we only use 100% British beans. This means we can support and champion British farmers to grow fava beans that will enrich their soil with minimal food miles.
Less land and water usage
Pulses are a really water efficient source of protein - they use half to a tenth of water compared to other sources of protein.
Many pulses crops have adapted to dry environments, making them well suited to areas that are prone to drought. They extract water from a shallower depth, leaving more water deep in the soil for the following year's crop, which increases water use efficiency of the entire crop rotation.
Fava bean sustainability summary: