Whether you make pasta for its delicious taste, health benefits, or affordability, you’re also making an environmentally friendly meal choice. When combined with pulses, another sustainable and healthy food group made up of the edible seeds of legume plants, this meal can be an excellent “green” choice that reduces your carbon footprint on the environment.
Here’s why: Not only is pasta sustainable through its long shelf life, it is a great canvas for using up other foods that have a shorter shelf life, such as fresh veggies and lean meat. Dry pasta can be stored for up to two years and doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which also allows it to have a small carbon footprint. The cooking process of pasta is also sustainable, as the used pasta water is encouraged for use in sauces to help bind the pasta and sauce and can be used to water plants when cooled.
Where pasta has inherent nutrient benefits like folate, iron, and a variety of B vitamins, the addition of pulses like fava beans, chickpeas, dried peas and lentils can also help make a highly nutritious and protein rich meal with a very small carbon footprint. Pulses are a sustainable choice as well, as they can convert nitrogen into nutrients for plant growth and can make soil fertile when growing.
If you’re looking to make a sustainable meal choice, consider a dinner of pasta and pulses next time you’re cooking. For a few recipe ideas, try Pasta Fits’ Tuna and Chickpea Pasta Salad, Grilled Merguez Sausage with Fava Beans & Noodles, Lentil and Pomegranate Pasta Salad, or Angel Hair and Garlic Chickpea Soup. For more information on the sustainability of pasta and pulses, visit Food Tank. For other pasta recipes, visit PastaFits.org.