Website promotes pleasures of pulses

Dr Nancy Longnecker

A long-running campaign promoting the pleasures of pulses has been launched into cyberspace, with a new website showcasing recipes and the latest research into the health benefits of a diet rich in peas, beans and lentils.

The Passion for Pulses website ( is intended to help spread the good word about recent studies funded by the GRDC, which have confirmed that chickpeas help guard against diabetes and heart disease. For a nation like Australia, with high rates of these diseases, the message is just what the doctor ordered.

The website continues a process of demystification started in 1999 when Dr Nancy Longnecker, a senior research fellow with the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) in Perth, released the cookbook Passion for Pulses.

Dr Longnecker’s passion grew out of a childhood spent eating red beans and rice in New Orleans. She made a career out of studying pulses, but discovered they were rarely on the menu when she moved to Australia in 1986.

With support from the GRDC and CLIMA, Dr Longnecker decided the best way to get Australians eating more pulses was to show them how to cook them. The result was a cookbook bringing together recipes from seven regions around the world.

Passion for Pulses cookbook is available for $27.50 plus postage and handling through Ground Cover Direct, 1800 11 00 44,

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