Most people find pasta a suitable meal of choice due to its affordability or health benefits. But if you ask any child, you’ll find that its delicious taste is often the reason why this food is a favorite. For Caterina’s Club, the joy in bringing of bringing Pasta to children in underprivileged communities is like no other, and the vision of Caterina’s Club is to end global hunger with pasta, one of the most sustainable foods available. But why is Pasta so sustainable for communities around the world, and how do they impact our children? Here’s what you need to know.
What makes Pasta sustainable?
When considering environmentally friendly options for your next meal, Pasta is the perfect pick. According to a study European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, few foods have a similar “sustainability index” as high as pasta. From the farm, factory, and ultimately to your kitchen, pasta is sustainable at every level of the supply chain, as it boasts a low environmental impact during production.
At the 2015 Healthy Pasta Meals Scientific Consensus meeting, organized by the nonprofit Oldways, nutrition experts declared that “pasta is a simple plant based food, and has a low environmental impact.” It’s one of the least intensive foods to produce, and holds a longer shelf life. Pasta doesn’t need to be refrigerated and is an amazing companion to hearty meals that include fresh veggies and lean meat.
What Pasta means for children in impoverished communities
Variations of Pasta dishes have been an important part of kids meals in most parts of the world. Pasta is advocated by nutritionists for its good nutrition, as it ensures the right intake of complex, slow-release carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Research conducted by Nutritional Strategies, Inc., on behalf of the National Pasta Association, shows that pasta consumption in children and adolescents is “associated with a better diet quality than that of children who do not eat pasta”. Young pasta-eaters are shown to take in more important vitamins and minerals and reduced amounts of saturated fat and total fat in the diet compared to children who do not consume pasta.
Due to the health benefits Pasta provides, it’s an essential element to Caterina’s Club overall mission: to provide impoverished children who are at high-risk for malnutrition with healthy Pasta based meals. According to registered dietitian Diane Welland, Nutrition Communications Manager for the National Pasta Association, it’s best to “think of pasta as a canvas from which you can add nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, cheese, lean meats and legumes.”
Pasta has been a major element to the sustainable food systems around the world, and continues to be a healthy and exciting food staple for children. Caterina’s Club’s mission is to introduce warm Pasta-based meals, as well as affordable housing assistance and job training, to homeless and low-income families throughout Southern California. Our vision is to provide every child the resources, love, and encouragement they need to be healthy, safe, and educated.