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Why Pulse Consumption in India is Decreasing? 2 Big Reasons

A recent report reveals a gradual decreasing consumption of dal in India. Experts provide two top reasons for this downward trend.

Shipra Singh

A 2017-18 survey report done by National Statistical Office (NSO) on domestic consumption expenditure on pulses in India reveals a slowing downward graph of consumption of pulses and milk.

A Global Pulses Conclave was organized in the month of February in the year 2020 in India. It highlighted the gradual flattening curve for pulse consumption in India.

The consumption had increased between years 2013-14 and 2017-18 from 18.6 million tonnes to 22.5 million tonnes.

However, in 2018-19, the consumption of pulses decreased to 22.1 million tonnes.

Then, in 2020, the consumption further decreased to 20.7 million tonnes.

This signifies a gradual decrease in the overall consumption of pulses among Indians. What is the reason for this?

Experts’ Point of View

According to experts, one of the major reasons is the rise in pulse prices. Earlier, dal-roti was regarded as poor man’s food. Today, dal has become a luxury for many households. In fact, chicken and eggs are more affordable than pulses these days!

So, people without a stable or decent monthly income skip eating dals. They prefer cooking roti and vegetables, and meat at times. They cook dal only once a week or so.

Another reason, as cited by experts, is the ignorance of the nutrition value of pulses.

There are still people who consider dal as mediocre food. “Who wants to eat dal? Let’s have something better.” This is what they usually remark.

However, they fail to realize that all types of dals (pulses) are powerhouses of nutrition. Do you know doctors recommend pulses for weight loss? Pulses keep you fuller for longer. They are a chief source of protein for vegetarians. A bowl of dal every day can easily give your body almost the daily recommended dose of protein.

They are low in fat and free of cholesterol. Apart from protein, they are rich in micro nutrients and fiber. They help to boost immunity.

Yet, we think of dal as “just dal.”

Time to change our outlook towards dal. We must look upon it with reverence, as pulses or dals are one of the best foods on the planet. Eat them as soup, dal-kneaded rotis, dal fry, dal sprouts, and so many other recipes. This is a wholesome nutritious food.

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