The week that was

PULSE PLANT EXPANDS United Pulse Trading celebrated an expansion last week, dedicating a new $30 million pulse processing facility in east Minot. Construction began on the facility in 2012. It will process products such as peas, lentils and chickpeas, with the products being exported worldwide. The facility is expected to employ 45 people, bringing the company’s employee total in Minot to 100, and there are plans to expand its capability to produce pulse flours, proteins, fibers and starches in the future. North Dakota farmers lead the nation in production of dry beans and some other pulse crops, and the facility allows farmers the opportunity to sell their crops. The processing facility is a welcome addition to Minot’s expanding agriculture processing sector.

GOOD FOR BABIES? We’re certainly not opposed to making good use of new and ever-changing technology. But apps for babies? We think not. A Boston-based group has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Fisher-Price’s marketing of mobile phone apps as educational tools for babies. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said the apps are nothing more than entertainment, suggesting that children under the age of 2 don’t need electronic “screen time.” We couldn’t agree more. Nothing, we repeat, nothing is better for babies at any age than time spent in the lap of a parent or other loved ones, paging through good, old-fashioned books. Not only does such personal contact encourage reading but it builds bonds between babies and parents and loved ones, rather than building a bond between babies an a handheld electronic device. We’re certainly not saying that technology can’t serve a purpose in the education of young children. But there’s no way it can replace one-one-one time spent with a parent or loved one. Reading “Green Eggs and Ham” or an Amelia Bedelia story to a young child is simply not the same when it’s on screen.