South Africa
Perfect pulses challenge
Planting pulse seeds
Planting pulse seeds

Thanks to Julia Colvin for doing this challenge with 40 members of the Environmental Society. 2016 was the International Year of Pulses and we found out why. We first tried to identify a range of different pulses supplied by Julia. We were reasonably successful. We learned that pulses are important for food security. They provide good nutrition - they are high in protein, low in fats (which are causing a world-wide obesity epidemic) and high in certain minerals and vitamins. They can also be grown easily - as we found out first hand by growing different pulses in egg boxes. We were amazed at how quickly they germinated. We discussed ways to eat pulses and we came up with dahl, bean sprouts and humus as the most well-known ways. We discussed other ways to eat pulses and various pulse recipes. We also looked at the water footprint of various foods and found out that pulses have a very low water footprint compared to meat and dairy products. Pulses also have the advantage of being a cheap and readily available food source.
We extended this challenge by having a meat out day assembly for the whole school. The tuck shop supported us and only sold vegetarian meals on that day. We also put up a display in the library in support of meat out day. Each class also made a challenge to support meat out day.

These are the values that we demonstrated in the challenge:


Care and commitment – Pupils were very concerned the water footprint of meat and dairy compared to vegetarian diet.

Awareness – Pupils became very aware reasons why a vegetarian diet (eating pulses) is better for the environment.  

Responsibility – They pledged to eat less meat and dairy and support meat out days. 

Empathy – Pupils had empathy for communities that do not have enough food because they are very poor. However, they realised that poor people should be able to afford pulses and grow them themselves.    

Local Partner African Conservation Trust

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