The North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC) will be celebrating National Pasta Month in October and Pasta Lovers' Week October 23-29. Pasta is a healthy, simple, quick and inexpensive meal option for busy families. North Dakota families can also feel good knowing the durum, which is the main ingredient in pasta, is likely grown in the state. North Dakota leads the nation in durum production, growing roughly 60 percent of the nation's supply.
Pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat, and that durum finds its way to plates of consumers around the country and the world. Pasta, being very low in calories, is a complex carbohydrate placing low on the glycemic index. "One-fourth of the adult plate should contain grains and sixty-five percent of those calories should come from carbohydrates," says Erica Olson, NDWC marketing specialist. "Pasta also contains about twenty-five percent of your daily fiber intake, making it a great and healthy meal for families."
North Dakota produces about 45 million bushels of durum each year which equates to 60 percent of the national total. North Dakota's durum is sold to mills across the United States and the rest of the world. The largest importer of durum is Italy, followed by Algeria, Nigeria and Venezuela as well as 20 other countries. "The North Dakota Wheat Commission works to sustain and expand use of wheat grown by North Dakota farmers by creating worldwide market opportunities through efforts including opening and maintaining overseas markets, reinforcing consumption of grain foods, developing new wheat varieties and influencing international import and export policies," says Olson. There are two locations in North Dakota that manufacture pasta - Minot Milling, a division of Philadelphia Macaroni located in Minot, N.D., and Dakota Growers Pasta Company, a subsidiary of Post Holdings located in Carrington, N.D.
This October enjoy your favorite pasta dish while knowing you are making a nutritious food choice. The North Dakota Wheat Commission encourages you to listen to your local radio station and read your local newspaper for opportunities to win pasta prize packages throughout the month of October.
For additional pasta information and recipes, visit the following websites: