With increasing consumer concern on the GMO factor of soy products (estimated to be as high as 80%), the pea is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the vegetarian population as a viable alternative protein source. It has a substantial culinary history, featuring Roman soldiers who carried dried peas and rice as hard rations.
Pre-industrial farming was based to a great extent on crop rotation; pulses do not require as much water as cereals, but their importance lies in their nitrogen-fixing properties, whereby the plant absorbs nitrogen from the atmosphere and returns it in a modified form to the earth, where it acts as a natural fertiliser.
Pea protein is coming to prominence as the new superfood. A true legume, the yellow pea is used to make all kinds of dairy substitute foods such as yogurt, cheese and mayonnaise. Some pea protein is even being used to replicate meat.
It has some similarities to casein, and hence offers an alternative supplement for athletes and body-builders, because it contains the amino acids which help retain muscle mass after exercise, and a peptide which combats hunger sensations in the stomach, thereby helping to promote weight loss.