"The goal of this program is to
improve the diets of people in the developing world who are
suffering from malnutrition and devastating diseases, while also
providing a use for abundant U.S. soybeans," said Pradeep Khanna,
associate director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory.
"This is being achieved through work with private voluntary
organizations and U.S. soybean processors to introduce soybeans and
soy products into developing countries where soy has not
traditionally been available."
Khanna notes that recent
efforts have focused on two major programs. One project is aimed at
introducing soy foods into school programs in countries with
problems from childhood malnutrition and protein deficiencies. The
other is focused on providing nutritional assistance to people
suffering from HIV/AIDS.
"We already support programs in
a number of countries, including Botswana, Senegal, Ivory Coast,
Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe," Khanna said. "We also have recently
completed the first year of a major pilot program in Honduras. This
effort has been so successful that it is being greatly expanded
during the second year of the project."
Another important program is
now under way in Haiti. An agreement was recently reached with a
local private voluntary organization, Espoir Anaise, to provide soy
protein products to nearly 300 families with at least one member
infected with HIV.
"Arrangements were also worked
out with the National Program of School Canteens to conduct a
demonstration project on using soy protein in the Haitian school
lunch program," Khanna said. "The plan is to fortify the school
lunches of more than 1,300 students in four different schools with
of second column in this article]
The project aims to demonstrate
the ease of adding soy to the lunches and to document the acceptance
of those foods by the students. The organizers will also seek to
increase awareness of the benefits of soy foods among parents,
teachers, students and the community at large.
As part of this program, staff
from the National Soybean Research Laboratory and the World
Initiative for Soy in Human Health recently completed a two-day
training session in Miami for representatives from Espoir Anaise,
the National Program of School Canteens and other Haitian
"The training provided detailed
instruction on the basics of adding soy to the Haitian diet,
including instruction on proper handling and storage and on how to
improve the taste and quality of soy-fortified foods," Khanna said.
"We also spent time training on the proper methods for collecting
data from the project."
Khanna noted that one shipping
container of soy products, which included textured soy protein and
soy flour, has already been sent to Haiti. Part of the consignment
was contributed by Cargill. Shipping for the container was arranged
by the American Soybean Association.
"Illinois soybean growers have been at the forefront of this project
from the beginning," Khanna said. "This is just another example of
the way farmers have shown that they are responsible citizens in the
world. With their help, we have been able to do a lot of good things
for people in need."
of Illinois news release]