Grains and Pulses: Where Do We Go from Here?
Familiarizing yourself with a trend's personality is important to strategically and successfully navigating it. You can either play within its boundaries or challenge those boundaries to move a trend in a new direction. To explore this dynamic, an imaginary conference wherein the attendees are foods and flavors is described. At this conference, distinct personalities become apparent: grains mix well with everyone, offend no one, and offer a bridge to new food experiences, while pulses are similar to grains, but rarely take the spotlight. Despite their detractors, clinical research suggests there are many benefits to incorporating whole grains and pulses in the diet. Research has linked consumption of whole grains and pulses to improved cognitive function, memory, and focus and decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers (e.g., colon, breast, pancreatic, and prostate), colon polyps, and obesity. Looking beyond their health benefits, the “playful” side of grains and pulses should also be considered. After all, a balanced meal consists of more than a simple slab of meat. Any focus on pulses and grains should include their contributions to food and flavor trends.