The American Soybean Association (ASA) hosted a luncheon today on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate why soyfoods are becoming increasingly popular in the United States and overseas. Themed “Soy Good: Kids and Adults Love It!,” the event highlighted the benefits of soyfoods for U.S. and international consumers of all ages. ASA held the event in cooperation with Archer Daniels Midland Company, Monsanto, QUALISOY, The Solae Company and The Soyfoods Council.Award-winning chef and owner Jeff Buben of Washington, D.C.’s popular Bistro Bis and Vidalia restaurants premiered his new Green Soybean Tartine “Provencale” at the event. Fresh Start Catering at D.C. Central Kitchen provided a wide array of soy foods that are appropriate for events ranging from fine-dining menus to U.S. and global school meals.”America’s soybean growers are pleased to host this event to let policymakers and their staffs experience how great soyfoods taste in addition to being good for them,” said ASA President Ron Heck, a soybean grower from Perry, Iowa. “This was also an opportunity to showcase the benefits and flexibility of soy in school meal programs for kids in the United States, as well as in Africa, Asia, Latin America and many other places.”Soy can play an important role in meeting the nutritional needs of children who cannot drink cow’s milk. That is why ASA supports the inclusion of fortified soymilk as a reimbursable option in U.S. federal child nutrition programs, including the national school lunch and breakfast programs.Likewise, soy has much to offer global school lunch initiatives because it is easily blended into foods that children already like, and it provides an important boost to the protein content of foods that children need to grow. Global hunger-fighting organizations have already started using high-protein soy products in stews, breads and many other foods.ASA supports $150 million in 2005 Congressional appropriations for the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.U.S. soybean growers saw a key role for soy in fighting hunger when they launched the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program that works with private voluntary organizations, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and others to combat hunger and improve human health in developing countries.”Through WISHH, soybean growers have played an enormous role in helping hunger-fighting organizations learn about the potential of high-protein soy to meet the nutritional needs of people in diverse countries,” Heck said. “ASA is pleased that representatives from the United Nations’ World Food Programme could join us today at our soyfoods luncheon to highlight their new ‘19 Cents a Day’ awareness campaign.”Announced earlier this month, WFP’s new “19 Cents a Day” school feeding campaign is designed to raise awareness about child hunger in the poorest countries and give Americans an opportunity to help. The “19 Cents a Day” campaign is so named because that is the average daily cost of feeding a child in school in a poor country. WFP seeks to feed 32 million school children by 2005, twice the number fed today. For more information, see www.19centsaday.org.In 2003, nearly nine out of 10 U.S. consumers were somewhat or very concerned about the nutritional content of food, according to the 10th annual nationwide survey of consumer attitudes conducted by an independent research firm for the United Soybean Board. The survey showed that 74 percent of U.S. consumers perceived soy products as healthy while 62 percent agreed that consuming soy-based foods can play a role in reducing obesity.