On the Plate: Alberta Pulses
2022: International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture  |  Bits 'N Bites
Restaurant Spotlight: Yellow Door Bistro (Calgary)
Chef Profile: Jiju Paul, CCC (Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton)
Featured Recipe: Alberta Lentil Bacon Kimchi Frittata
Meet a Pulse Grower: Allison Ammeter
Featured Partner: Alberta Pulse Growers

On the Plate: Alberta Pulses

Did you know that pulses are an ancient superfood that have been around for centuries? Pulses are the dry edible seeds of plants with pods in the legume family and include dry field peas, dry beans, lentils and chickpeas. Fun fact, the word “pulse” comes from the Latin word puls, meaning thick soup. These culinary chameleons are rich in protein, fibre, and many key nutrients. They are deliciously versatile on their own and with other foods on the plate!

Pulses are grown for food and feed in countries around the world, and they are unique among grain crops in their ability to partner with certain soil bacteria to take nitrogen, an essential plant nutrient, from the air and turn it into a form that can be used by plants.  They are increasingly being recognized as an excellent source of plant protein, but they’re also an important source of other nutrients.  Typically, pulses contain twice the amount of protein found in whole grains like wheat, oats, barley and rice.  They are also very high in fibre, as well as contain substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium zinc, and folate. 

Pulses can also be processed into other ingredients, such as pulse flours, starches, proteins, and fibres.  You can even find them as a vegan-friendly alternative to animal by-product protein powders!

DYK: There are over 6,500 Alberta farmers who grow pulses including dried peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans and faba beans!


Pulses can be found in any major grocery store. Unlike many Alberta-grown ingredients, you can't purchase them directly from a farm - they are sold as bulk commodities. Look for “Product of Canada” on the package labels; if a pulse product in a major retailer is labelled “Product of Canada”, the product is likely grown on the Canadian prairies.

What is a Pulse?

Pulses are part of the legume family (any plants that grow in pods), but the term “pulse” refers only to the dry edible seed within the pod. Beans, lentils, chickpeas and split peas are the most common types of pulses.

Pulses are special because they have distinct health benefits apart from other legumes. Unlike legumes like peanuts and soy, for example, pulses are low in fat and very high in protein and fiber. Pulses are grown for food and feed in countries around the world, and they are unique among grain crops in their ability to partner with certain soil bacteria to take nitrogen, an essential plant nutrient, from the air and turn it into a form that can be used by plants.
Source: Pulse Canada

10 Reasons to Grow Pulses

Whether you’ve never grown pulses or haven’t grown them in a while, here's ten good reasons why you should think about growing pulses:

  1. Pulses reduce your input costs. Pulses fix their own nitrogen, so there’s no need for the added cost of nitrogen for your crop.
  2. Pulses spread your workload. The growing season for pulse crops differs somewhat from that of other crops, in some cases allowing you to seed and harvest earlier or later than other crops.
  3. Pulses give you diversified marketing options. You can grow pulses for export or domestic use for the human consumption, animal feed, or fractionation markets.
  4. Pulses break disease cycles in your field. A four-year crop rotation that incorporates pulses can reduce incidences of disease in your fields.
  5. Pulses provide a second-year yield boost. Studies have shown that higher yields and quality of canola (15-96 per cent increase in yield) and cereals (41-52 per cent increase in barley yields, 20-47 per cent increase in wheat yields) can be seen in the year following pulse crops.
  6. Pulses grow in a variety of production systems. You have a lot of options when it comes to growing pulses, as they can be seeded with a variety of equipment and grow in both conventional and zero till systems under irrigation or on dry land.
  7. Pulses are profitable. Prices for pulse crops are very competitive with other crop types, and reduced input costs help contribute to a healthy bottom line.
  8. Pulses improve your soil tilth. Pulses make your soil healthier by putting nutrients, including nitrogen, back into the soil.
  9. Pulses promote soil conservation and sustainable farming practices. Crops like pulses that fix nitrogen can help reduce CO2 emissions from agriculture, and because of their water use efficiency and ability to grow in zero till systems, pulses may have a lower environmental footprint than other crop types.
  10. Pulses are an up-and-coming crop type that grows every year. Pulse acres in Alberta have hit the 2.4 million mark and continue to grow. With increased acres come increased marketing options, making pulses an up-and-coming crop type with plenty of room to grow.

Source: Alberta Pulse Growers

United Nations Declares 2022 as International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). FAO is the lead agency for celebrating the Year in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system. IYAFA 2022 is an important recognition of the millions of small-scale fishers, fish farmers and fish workers who provide healthy and nutritious food to billions of people and contribute to achieving Zero Hunger.

The objective of celebrating IYAFA 2022 is twofold: the Year aims to focus world attention on the role that small-scale fishers, fish farmers and fish workers play in food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and sustainable natural resource use – thereby increasing global understanding and action to support them.

The International Year complements several other key initiatives including the Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), the Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028), and the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.  Learn more...

WATCH: #IYAFA2022: Small in scale, big in value.

Bits 'N Bites

Alberta Open Farm Days
Celebrating 10 Years in 2022

The province-wide open house for farms and agri-tourism experiences is set to celebrate a decade of farm visits and culinary events this year. Without initiatives like this one, Alberta on the Plate may not exist. Watch for farm registration opening up soon, and start planning your next visit. Cheers to another ten years!  Learn more...
Enjoy Alberta Craft Beer & Spirits at YEG's Ice on Whyte
The annual Ice on Whyte Festival is an outdoor winter festival featuring ice and snow exhibits, an interactive children’s play area, the famous giant ice slide and much more! At the Ice Bar, enjoy local beer and spirits from Situation Brewing, Rig Hand Craft Distillery, Strathcona Spirits and Hansen Distillery. Jan 27 to Feb 6. Learn more...
Head to the mountains for Jasper's Beer & Spirits Week
Alberta Beer Festivals is hosting Jasper Beer & Spirits Week, running from February 7th to 13th, 2022. Brewed in partnership with The APRES Collective, it celebrates the craft community booming in Alberta. Whether sipping your apres beer after carving the hill all day or pairing craft beer with delicious food at the Jasper Park Lodge, an exciting mountain adventure awaits!
Learn more...
Light up your winter at
Calgary's Chinook Blast
Come outside and enjoy the vibrancy of Calgary this winter. You’re not afraid of a little cold, are you?  From January 21 – February 27, 2022, Chinook Blast will be heating up the city with a celebration of community, culture, and civic pride. The best of Calgary’s art, music, theatre, sport and recreation will be on display.  Proudly featuring 100% local artists, talent, partners, volunteers and businesses.  Learn more...


Hotel Arts, 119 - 12 Avenue SW, Calgary  |  403.206.9585

A bright, airy space full of surprises, Yellow Door offers creative dishes in a whimsical, approachable style. Come for the culinary splendor, stay for the unconventional charm. Looking for a stellar pulse dish? Try the Salmon Power Bowl with marinated kale & chickpeas, charred broccoli, pickles, pea shoots, and tahini curry sauce.  Read more...

(Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton)

Prior to joining the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald family, Chef Jiju Paul led the culinary team at Edmonton Expo Center where he was the Executive Chef for 2 years. He has over 18 years of experience in hotels across Canada, United Arab Emirates, and India; of which he has a 13- year history with Fairmont Hotels including Fairmont Ajman, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Dubai. He also worked with the Pan Pacific Hotels in Vancouver. He has a passion for cooking and enjoy more of a contemporary cuisine with farm-to-table concept.  Keep reading...

Alberta Lentil Bacon
Kimchi Frittata

Kimchi, lentils and bacon equal a perfect combination of flavours in this savory frittata. This recipe is easy to prepare in advance, uses minimal dishes, and makes great leftovers!  

Get the recipe


Allison Ammeter, and her husband of 35 years, Michael, operate a third-generation grain farm near Sylvan Lake, Alberta, cropping a rotation of canola, wheat, barley, faba beans and yellow field peas, practicing minimum tillage and using variable rate seeding technology. Due to the location close to the Rocky Mountains, the farm experiences an extremely short growing season every year by North American standards.

Allison is a director and past chair of Alberta Pulse Growers, past chair of Pulse Canada. She served as Canadian Chair of the International Year of Pulses 2016 and was chair of the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta and a director with Protein Industries Canada and the Protein Highway initiative.  Her goal is to serve Canadians in as many ways as possible, encouraging farmers to GROW MORE PULSES, consumers to EAT MORE PULSES, and the food industry to USE MORE PULSES.

AOTP: How did you get into farming?
AA: I grew up on a farm, and also married a man who grew up on a farm. Both my home farm (which my brother now runs) and ours are 3rd generation family businesses. I have been part of a number of pulse promoting organizations, and actively promote adding value here in Alberta to our crops.

Keep reading...


Based in Leduc, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission is a non-profit organization that supports over 6,500 Alberta farmers who grow pulses, including dried peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans and faba beans. Through a refundable levy based on 0.75 per cent of the cash sale on pulse crops sold in the province, Alberta Pulse Growers conducts research, administrative, marketing, advocacy and extension activities on behalf of our members.  Funded by our farmers, our vision is to have “Pulses on every farm, on every plate”.

With five zones, nine staff, and a farmer-elected Board of 12 Directors, Alberta Pulse Growers promotes the benefits of including pulses in a sustainable crop rotation and in a healthy diet through research and marketing initiatives, all in an effort to increase the sustainability and profitability of pulse production in Alberta.

Learn more...
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