To mark the UK’s International Year of Pulses celebrations, guests were treated to falafels from some of the best local and international street food vendors and even a DJ, at the first ever London Falafel Festival.

By Ellen Kanner

In the tale of Jack and the beanstalk, Jack’s life changed when he traded his cow for a handful of magic beans. A few years ago, a handful of beans changed my life, too, and I didn’t even have a cow. I met Muriel Olivares, who, big-hearted in the way that farmers are, gave me cowpeas, tiny purple black-eyed beauties, to plant as soil-enhancing, nitrogen-rich cover crops to ready my little vegetable plot before planting season.

UK Government: ‘Eat More Beans and Pulses’

The UK government has updated its dietary guidelines. The newly revised EatWell Guide recommends people eat more plants, get more of their protein from beans and pulses and cut down on processed and red meat. It's a good step forward towards encouraging healthier, more sustainable diets.

Pulses and the Dutch: they seem to have a struggling relationship. The image of pulses is that they are old fashioned, poor man’s food and difficult to make a tasty meal with.

The Global Pulse Confederation, a not for profit organisation that represents the global pulses value chain, has welcomed the new ‘Eatwell Guide’ from Public Health England, which encourages consumers ‘to eat more beans and pulses’.

Feeling inventive?

If you were to create a new food product which promotes the best that beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils have to offer, what would it be? Take some inspiration from the fantastic examples below, which truly illustrate the versatility of these hearty foods.