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You Can Rely on Pasta – Celebrating Pasta Month in 2020

Posted: Oct 01 2020

For nearly three decades the North Dakota Wheat Commission has celebrated National Pasta Month in October as a way to recognize the state’s dedicated durum producers and the associated durum milling and pasta manufacturing industries. To help celebrate Pasta Month, the Commission will be partnering with statewide media to provide durum and pasta facts and trivia.  Readers and listeners will have a chance to win a pasta prize package, so have your ears and eyes open when October rolls around.
 
The theme for Pasta Month this year is “You Can Rely on Pasta”.  It was chosen because of what has played out in the real, everyday lives of consumers in the U.S. and worldwide for much of 2020, due to the social and economic disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Pasta was a food choice that fit well in these challenging times, due to its versatility, nutritional qualities, affordability and reliability.  As businesses, schools and restaurants closed, consumers were left to cook more at home than ever in recent times, often turning to comfort and staple foods, and pasta was a popular choice for many families.   
 
Pasta comes in more than 600 shapes and when combined with various sauces, vegetables and protein options, it makes an incredibly versatile meal option.  Contrary to what you might hear, pasta is also a very nutritious food choice.  One serving of pasta provides less than 200 calories and is low in sodium yet provides nearly 25% of recommended daily fiber intake and many valuable vitamins and minerals.  It is also one of the most economical food options, making it an attractive meal choice in uncertain times.  According to National Pasta Association research, Americans pay around $1.45 for a pound of pasta that provides eight servings – that works out to less than 20 cents per serving.  Lastly, pasta is a reliable choice, thanks in large part to the dedication of North Dakota producers which have kept our state as the leading producer of durum in the nation, despite economic challenges.  North Dakota producers grow enough durum for roughly 13 billion servings of pasta each year.
 
A good share of our state’s production is processed in-state at one of these facilities: Minot Milling, a division of Philadelphia Macaroni located in Minot, N.D.; Dakota Growers Pasta Company located in Carrington, N.D.; and the North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks.  North Dakota durum is also sent out of state to mills throughout the United States, and to customers around the world. Italy, Algeria, and Nigeria are the largest international buyers, but North Dakota durum also finds its way to smaller markets in Central America and Europe. 
 
Celebrate pasta month by learning more about our state’s durum and pasta production and make one of your favorite pasta dishes.  For great pasta cooking tips and recipes, visit www.pastafits.org.  The Wheat Commission would like to thank our dedicated Pasta Month sponsors: Dakota Growers Pasta, Philadelphia Macaroni and the U.S. Durum Growers Association.


 

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