World Pulses Day – corsus is working on projects to increase the consumption of pulses
Pulses have many positive nutritional properties and, thanks to their nitrogen-fixing and soil-improving characteristics, make a valuable contribution to more sustainable agriculture – and therefore to a change towards sustainable nutrition. To draw attention to these positive properties, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has declared 10 February as world pulses day. corsus is working on two projects in which pulses and their sustainability impact are being analysed. These projects contribute to an environmentally friendly, health-promoting, ethically responsible diet that is appropriate for everyday life and enables socio-cultural diversity.
Pulses are considered a sustainable plant-based source of protein. The Planetary Health Diet, scientifically based nutritional recommendations that take into account health and planetary boundaries, recommends a daily intake of around 75g per person. In Germany, it is estimated that only 6-7g of pulses are consumed per person per day1 .
In order to increase the consumption of domestic legumes, corsus research gUG is working on the project “StrahL – Target group-orientated strategies for more domestic legume consumption” under the leadership of the University of Bonn in cooperation with Zühlsdorf und Partner, Fulda University of Applied Sciences and the University of Göttingen. corsus research is investigating the environmental impact of the production of domestic and imported legumes and current eating styles in Germany. The research question is: How would the environmental impact of nutrition in Germany change if we had less animal proteins and more legumes in our daily diet? These and other questions will be answered in the project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and was launched in October 2023.
With sales of around € 1.91 billion, Germany is Europe’s largest market for plant-based alternative products. On average, every German spends around €23 a year on vegetarian alternative products and the market for vegetarian and vegan alternative products continues to grow at double-digit rates. In the project commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency “Sustainability assessment of alternative protein sources” corsus-corporate sustainability GmbH has been analysing the sustainability impact of the most relevant raw materials of alternative protein sources since December 2022. The aim is to comprehensively assess the most important alternative protein sources in terms of the environment, animal welfare and society. This primarily includes plant proteins (e.g. pulses, algae, cereals), but also insect proteins, microbial proteins from bacteria or fungi and proteins from cellular agriculture. Together with the German Institute of Food Technology in Quakenbrück (DIL) and the Institute for Social Innovation in Berlin (ISI Consult), corsus is compiling an overview of alternative protein sources and analogues for production processes and raw materials and is carrying out a sustainability assessment of selected products. The results will be published in a specialised brochure. The project will run until the beginning of 2025.
1 Legumes: field beans, field peas, lupins, others without soya beans according to the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food: https://www.bmel-statistik.de/fileadmin/daten/SJT-4022600-0000.xlsx.