Jul 02, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, USA Rice attended the Food Assistance for Nutrition Evidence Summit hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace, an event that brought together U.S. government agencies, academia, private voluntary organizations (PVOs), and the business world to address current and future hunger challenges, while maximizing nutritional value and cost effectiveness. Panel topics at the two-day meeting included improved packaging, supply chain optimization, cost-effective research, and innovations in ingredients and processing.
USA Rice staffed an information booth focused on the latest innovations in coated fortified rice. Attendees who sampled the fortified rice commented that it both looked and tasted exactly like traditional unfortified rice, and most saw this as a major benefit in the fight against global malnutrition.
Throughout the summit’s panel discussions, several speakers noted that fortified rice works well in food aid because there is no difference in flavor or preparation, and as the most consumed commodity in the world, it is palatable across the globe.
Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Nutrition and co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, gave the summit’s closing remarks saying the number of hungry people has risen in the past year, and will continue to rise due to war, violent conflict, natural disasters, and climate change.
“Extreme hunger and poverty are the greatest threats to our national security,” said McGovern. “And while we have the resources and brainpower to end hunger, political will must be combined with the best research, delivery systems, and the most nutritious foods to bring an end to hunger and malnutrition around the world.”
Use of rice in food aid continues to rise with 100,000 MT of shipments in 2017, in part because of rice’s cost, shelf stable attributes, and mass acceptance around the world. The success and integration of fortified rice will only see usage increase in the coming years.