Chickpeas are a good source of protein and are good for the environment
(NC) Chickpeas are high in protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates; have high levels of minerals like iron, calcium, zinc and vitamins; and are low in fat.
Canadian farmers grow two varieties of chickpeas — desi and Kabuli. Kabuli is the most popular and it is also known by its more common name, garbanzo beans.
Chickpeas can be a challenging crop to grow in Canada because they require a long growing season and have a high risk of disease. Ascochyta blight is the most common disease for chickpeas and it can be devastating, potentially wiping out up to 90 per cent of the crop if it is not controlled. To protect the crop, farmers use a fungicide, a type of pesticide that protects crops from becoming infected with a disease, or cures the disease in the early part of infection.
Cherilyn Nagel farms in Saskatchewan, where the most of our chickpeas are grown. She says that pest control products are crucial for protecting crops from pests.
“It’s in our best interest to ensure the products are used responsibly. At the end of the day, we want to have healthy, safe abundant food and leave our soil in better condition than when we started,” she adds.
Chickpea plants form root nodules where bacteria take nitrogen from the air and convert them into fertilizer, which helps feed the plant. This process makes legumes like chickpeas an excellent source of plant protein. It’s also good for the environment because when the plant is harvested, the plant material left in the field releases the remaining nitrogen in the plant back into the soil and acts as fertilizer for next year’s crop.
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