USA- In celebration of World Pulses Day, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern introduced the Peas, Legumes, and Nuts Today (PLANT) Act, aimed at amplifying pulses’ cultivation, consumption, and recognition, emerges as a transformative force in fostering a sustainable food system.

The United Nations General Assembly declared February 10 as World Pulses Day in 2018 to emphasize the pertinence of pulses in the major task of mitigating global food challenges, improving human health, in addition to improving soil health. 

On February 10, 2024, the global community came together to celebrate this day, commemorating the crucial role of pulses in addressing nutrition, sustainability, and food security challenges worldwide. 

This year’s theme, “Nourishing Soils and People,” accentuates the dual benefits of pulses, advocating for their integration into diets and agricultural practices to tackle pressing global issues.

It is an opportunity to spread awareness about the use of pulses in daily diets and explore different types of dishes made up of pulses which are the main ingredient.

Pulses encompassing lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas are indispensable components of a healthy diet and are key to addressing malnutrition challenges. In many countries, pulses are a staple food consumed as part of their daily diet.

Congressman McGovern emphasized the pivotal role of the PLANT Act, stating, “Plant-based foods are already creating new opportunities for farmers across the country and exciting new options for consumers, and this legislation will be a game-changer.” 

The proposed PLANT Act seeks to enhance USDA assistance for pulses farmers, revamp export programs to bolster international trade, and strengthen rural development initiatives to stimulate plant-based food manufacturing in rural areas. 

Furthermore, the legislation endeavors to initiate research programs to enhance plant protein ingredients, address health and sustainability concerns, and bolster domestic supply chains. 

By equipping farmers and companies with essential resources, the PLANT Act aims to catalyze growth in the plant-based sector, fostering innovation and job creation.

ProVeg, a prominent advocate for plant-based diets and sustainability, voiced its support for the PLANT Act on World Pulses Day. 

Jasmijn de Boo, the global CEO of ProVeg, emphasized the pivotal role of pulses in fostering a healthier and more sustainable future, urging members of Congress to endorse the legislation. 

This bill exemplifies forward-thinking legislation poised to propel sustainable food practices, curtail greenhouse gas emissions, and offer substantial opportunities for American farmers and consumers alike,” stated de Boo. “Through pulse cultivation, farmers can diversify their crops, enhance resilience to climate change, and generate income for their families. The PLANT Act will create jobs and put American farmers at the forefront of global innovation.”

World Pulses Day serves as a reminder of the profound impact of pulses on nutrition, sustainability, and food security. With the introduction of the PLANT Act, the United States has the opportunity to lead the way in transforming its plant-based food industry, paving the path towards a more resilient and sustainable future for all.

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