AgInfo.net - Pulse Crop Update. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Pulse crops are the general term for dried peas, lentils and chickpeas. These super foods are packed with protein, fiber and other essential nutrients. Tim McGreevy, Executive Director of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council says they recently got a big thumbs up from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell to promote these nutritional powerhouse foods to schools but it won’t do any good if there isn’t a farm bill.
McGREEVY: We are trying to get a farm bill through this Congress. We need this to happen and these guys to get off the dime here and get this thing passed. We have it through the Senate and the House Ag Committee passed their version of the bill and now we’ve got to get it on the floor and into a bill. It expires at the end of September. Senator Cantwell of course was very helpful for us, to us. She led a charge on getting in the Senate package a school Pulse pilot program.
That program would introduce these new Pulse foods into the school lunch programs.
McGREEVY: We have a terrible problem with childhood obesity and diseases associated with that like Type 2 diabetes and we have to start making some strides to try to get these problems under control in our school system and for our kids and these crops really offer a fantastic solution. They’re really super foods, they’re high in dietary fiber, they’re high in potassium. The nutritionists in the new dietary guidelines had pointed out that there’s a huge lack of dietary fiber and potassium in the diet and here is a source - these Pulse crops that are naturally high in these nutrients.
McGreevy says another huge upside to Pulse crops is that they’re really inexpensive.
McGREEVY: Compared to other sources they are really an inexpensive option. So she championed our cause with others. We had support from really all the Pacific Northwest delegation as well as the Montana and North Dakota delegation and many others and so we got it through the Senate package and now we’re hopeful to get in the House package as well if it gets to the floor.
He says there is another section in the Farm Bill that growers are excited about.
McGREEVY: Called the Pulse Health Initiative that will also address some research needs for these crops that are absolutely critical. As we look at the world population increasing 3-billion people by 2050, these crops are going to be a solution to keeping people well fed.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.