American Soybean Association hosts Soyfoods Luncheon for Congress
Showcases How Soy Combines Good Taste with Health Benefits in U.S. and OverseasTo highlight the many great tasting soyfoods and their health benefits, the American Soybean Association (ASA) hosted its first Soyfoods Luncheon today in Washington, D.C. Members of Congress and their staff sampled modern soyfoods and received information about soy’s health benefits for domestic as well as international consumers. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) served as the Congressional host of the event. One of Washington, D.C.’s premier restaurants, Kinkead’s, and Executive Sous Chef Todd Schiller conducted a cooking demonstration at the luncheon that also featured many recipes from award-winning chef and cookbook author Dana Jacobi.White Wave, Solae, Soyatech, Inc., and the Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) sponsored the event that showcased many soy products that helped fuel the 16.9 percent increase in U.S. soyfood sales between 2000 and 2001. U.S. soyfood sales reached $3.234 billion in 2001, according to SANA. Internationally, soy is gaining recognition as an affordable source of complete protein that can quickly fortify foods that are already popular in countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The United States exported about 40 percent – equivalent to about 29.9 million metric tons – of its 2001 soybean crop.”ASA is hosting this reception to communicate the proven benefits of soy,” said ASA Chairman Bart Ruth, a soybean grower from Rising City, Neb. “Soy’s value in the battles against heart disease and some forms of cancer is widely known, and now there is growing recognition of soy’s ability to help people with HIV/AIDS. Soybean growers are pleased that their product can do so much good for so many people.”Domestically and internationally, soy can complement or fortify diets, rather than compete with products that are already consumed. U.S. federal nutrition programs, like the school lunch program, are an example of where the addition of soy can benefit existing menus. The ASA’s position is that fortified soymilk should be included as a choice in federal nutrition programs. This initiative is completely focused on the population of children who are lactose intolerant or do not currently drink milk for other reasons.Internationally, there is even more potential for soy’s nutrition to benefit children and adults as the world struggles with dire food shortages on multiple continents. In addition to many traditional soy products, like corn-soy blend, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have approved the use of five high-protein soy products for use in their food assistance programs. The products are defatted soy flour, textured soy protein, soy protein concentrates, isolated soy protein and soymilk replacer.Nutrition is gaining greater recognition as a front-line defense in efforts to help the 42 million people who now have HIV/AIDS. Soy is well suited to meet the protein, calorie and other nutritional requirements for people with HIV/AIDs. Protein requirements of HIV-infected persons jump to 50-100 percent higher than for uninfected persons, according to Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA). Already, the vast majority of recommended calorie-containing nutritional supplement products contain soy ingredients for optimum nutrition.President George W. Bush announced a new Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in his State of the Union address presented in January. Congress is now considering his request for $15 billion over the next five years to help people who currently have AIDS as well as slow the spread of the disease. This new initiative includes care for 2 million people living with the virus and 10 million orphans affected by the pandemic in 14 African and Caribbean countries. The President seeks to fund this initiative in addition to the Global AIDS Fund whereby the United States and many other nations support programs in 50 countries.The United States Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria Act of 2003 (H.R. 1298), authorizes the President’s $15 billion initiative to fight the global AIDS pandemic. H.R. 1298 directs USAID to conduct nutritional feeding any time there is a drug therapy treatment in place. The ASA supports these provisions.The ASA is the policy, domestic marketing, new uses, research and international marketing advocate of the U.S. soybean farmer. Because of soy’s important role in improving nutritional profiles of international diets, the ASA, the United Soybean Board, and state soybean organizations launched the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) in 2000. The program is helping America’s soybean growers build more bridges between America’s bounty and sustainable nutrition programs in countries where rapidly growing populations of all income levels can benefit from soy in their diets.