SUSTAINABILITY FROM THE GROUND UP
Oats and pulses are sustainable crops that benefit the environment when included in a three- or four-year crop rotation. This rotation is also referred to as a cropping system. It typically includes a pulse (e.g. peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils), a cereal (e.g. oats) and an oilseed (e.g. canola, flax).
Both oats and pulses are minimally- or zero-tilled. This helps to prevent soil erosion and the resulting release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere.
Oats and pulses do not require irrigation but grow from the moisture held in the soil. Additionally, pulse crops extract water from a shallower depth than other crops, leaving more water deep in the soil for the following year’s cereal or oilseed crop.
Pulses provide additional benefits through nitrogen fixing. The pulse plant extracts nitrogen from the air and deposits it in nodes located on their roots. These nodes are left in the soil after harvest of the crop, providing nutrition for the cereal crop (e.g. oats) that is grown in the same field the following year. This reduces the amount of fertilizer required within the crop rotation.
Oats and pulses also benefit soil health through the production of compounds that nourish soil microbes. Crop yields are typically higher in soils with a healthy microbiome, that are ‘alive’ with a diverse population of soil organisms. These organisms break down and cycle nutrients, feeding the crops as they grow. Naturally occurring soil organisms also ‘crowd out’ disease-causing bacteria and fungi.
MILLING OATS AND PULSES SUSTAINABLY
Avena Foods is committed to building on the natural sustainability of oats and pulse ingredients.
Our facilities are located in major growing areas for oats and pulses. This not only minimizes the distance raw materials are transported, but also helps us to build on the relationships that we have with farmers in the communities where we are based.
Avena Foods utilizes dry milling processes that require little or no water. This contrasts with wet-milling processes that use significant amounts of water and energy.
Our focus is on milling whole oat and pulse ingredients and working to understand how these products may be used to create food and beverage products that people like and enjoy!