Even if most of us outgrow a childhood aversion to eating vegetables, few people would list beans as a favorite food. But the humble bean (and its leguminous brethren lentils , chickpeas, peas, and peanuts) could be a secret weapon in the fight against climate change. In fact, legumes, also known as pulses , are so important to reducing climate emissions that the United Nations campaigns to raise awareness of their significance as a strategy for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Here’s why. Environment Unlike meat production, which accounts for nearly 10% of the average American’s climate emissions, legumes have a positive environmental impact . The nitrogen-fixing properties of pulses improve soil fertility, which improves farmland productivity while simultaneously reducing the need for fertilizers. When produced as a crop for human consumption, they enable countries to reduce food imports , which also reduces emissions related to transportation. When grown as a cover crop, they improve farm and soil biodiversity. This supports healthy ecosystems and can reduce the need for pesticides. Legumes contribute to global food security because they store well, are inexpensive to buy, and are easy to grow. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Nutrition Eating a […]

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