Pulse crops are grown for food and feed in countries around the world and hold significant cultural and historical importance. Many early civilizations developed around diets of pulses for protein, combined with a cereal crop to provide energy. Beans and corn are the example from the Americas, while pita and humus (chickpeas based) are a Middle Eastern illustration. Varying in size and color, pulses can form a nutritious basis for a meal. Larger brown or green lentils retain their shape during cooking and are particularly good in soups.

Red and yellow lentils cook down well, can be puréed and are used a great deal in Indian cooking, such as in a spicy daal. Tiny green lentils have a distinctive flavor and also keep their shape and color when cooked. They're delicious, if cooked simply and drizzled with olive oil. The major countries of import are Australia, Canada and Turkey.