Getting British pulses on the menu

Online at the Better Hospitality Conference 2-3pm 21st April 2021

Until recently most farmers saw pulses as an important part of their crop rotation in a mixed farming system, with some being used as fodder for their livestock. But that was all. They might be exported for use in traditional cooking such as the fava bean for such countries as Egypt, but in western countries the only pulse widely used for human consumption in modern times has been the baked bean made from haricot beans (and imported). This now is beginning to change. The huge importance of pulses for protein (as people cut down on meat consumption) but also their role in guarding against disease (they are antioxidants) is being recognised. Old recipes are being revived, and farmers, encouraged by the growing market are beginning to introduce small-scale production of such things as gogmagog beans, marrowfat peas, along with lentils, and even quinoa into their mixed farming systems.

About the speakers

Josiah Meldrum

Josiah Meldrum is co-founder of Hodmedod, Britain’s pulse and grain pioneers and winners of the 2017 BBC Food and Farming Award for Best Producer. Hodmedod grew out of a community project in Norwich that asked what a more sustainable, resilient food system might look like and now works with farmers across the UK to source and produce a diverse range of foods – from fava beans and quinoa to lentils and chickpeas – from Britain’s arable fields.

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food educator, writer, climate change activist and author of the new book Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet.

Hunt prioritises people and the environment within his work and believes in a world with a fair global food system where our actions benefit other people and nature. He works to protect biodiversity and promote equality by raising awareness about the issues affecting our food system whilst empowering people and businesses to act responsibly through his workshops, consultancy, food writing, presenting and events.

In response to the global food waste scandal, Tom has developed an holistic approach to food called Root to Fruit Eating that educates and enables everyone from home cooks to industry chefs to tackle climate change through the food they cook and eat.

Ruth West – chair

Ruth has followed a varied career from community worker in London’s east end to supporting indigenous women set up a traditional medicine pharmacy in the Peruvian Andes, and acting as a consultant to the WHO and UNEP, to more recently running her local farmers’ market and co-founding the Oxford Real Farming Conference.