On October 25, World Pasta Day, celebrity chefs Bruno Serato and David Hertz will announce the global pasta industry’s “The Power of Pasta” initiative. More than 3 million plates of pasta have been donated to various charities fighting hunger around the world thanks to the support of worldwide pasta producers. This is part of the International Pasta Organisation (IPO) global pasta industry’s celebration promoted by event Chair and IPO President Paolo Barilla.

“World Pasta Day offers us the opportunity to share how pasta of Italian tradition is increasingly appreciated and valued in many countries around the world that have developed excellent local recipes,” says Mr. Barilla. “From the pleasure of a tasty meal and good nutrition, to the awareness that it is accessible and respectful of the planet, these are all features that make it a modern product.”

Chefs Serato and Hertz, along with several local chef ambassadors, will also recommend a recipe for serving the pasta such as spaghetti with tomato sauce, or “spaghetti al pomodoro,” that is simple, delicious, healthy, sustainable, and brings people together around the table.

The kick-off coincides with World Pasta Day festivities held here this year with a gathering of pasta makers, industry members, scientists, media and other opinion leaders from around the globe. Hosted at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) by ABIMAPI, the Brazilian trade association, World Pasta Day 2017 will unite pasta lovers the world over in their passion for pasta. Chefs Serato and Hertz will attend World Pasta Day 2017 to introduce the global charity initiative and talk about the importance of social responsibility. 

“My mother taught me to care for others, and when I see the number of hungry children and adults out there, I know we have a lot of work to do,” says Chef Serato. “Through the Power of Pasta, offering a simple dish like spaghetti with tomato sauce using local seasonal ingredients, we can help feed the hungry, meeting different culinary traditions and bringing people together over a healthy meal.” Serato, whose new book, “The Power of Pasta: A Celebrity Chef’s Mission to Feed America’s Hungry Children,” was released this month, founded Caterina’s Club, a nonprofit organization inspired by his mother, Caterina, that serves 4,000 warm nutritional meals to underprivileged children every single night.

World Pasta Day, celebrated since 1998, recognizes the important role pasta plays in helping to feed the world through a variety of affordable, healthy and tasty cuisines. In fact, global pasta sales currently are up 2.3 percent, according to a Nielsen study. 

In an age when consumers live fast-paced lives and are prone to following nutritional fads and diets of the day, pasta remains a healthy—and delicious—mealtime favorite around the world. Pasta is also a fan favorite among celebs—from the late actress Audrey Hepburn (who famously ate pasta almost every day) to athlete Michael Phelps. Here are 5 reasons to celebrate this symbol of the Mediterranean Diet every day, everywhere.

Pasta is good for you and the planet

Made from durum wheat semolina or from the flour of other grains mixed with water and/or eggs, pasta is nutritious by itself. Mixed with olive oil, tomato sauce, vegetables, beans, seafood and lean meats it is a key ingredient of healthy traditional eating plans around the world. Pasta also is good for the planet. The industry is continuing its sustainability journey that sees a progressive decrease in water consumption and CO2 equivalent emissions. Experts at the 2015 Healthy Pasta Meals Scientific Consensus meeting, organized by Oldways, confirmed that pasta is a simple plant-based food and has a low environmental impact. When prepared with local seasonal ingredients, and by sustainable methods (try a one-pot pasta to save energy and water), pasta becomes even more environmentally friendly.

Pasta is the pillar of the Mediterranean diet

Pasta joins other grains, as well as fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices as the basis of the Mediterranean diet. The diet is one of the healthiest eating patterns in the world and has been linked to lowering incidences of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also is recognized for helping people achieve weight loss and weight management goals.

Pasta helps keep you full

Because of the way pasta is made during the manufacturing process, its glycemic index is lower than less complex carbohydrate foods. This means it has a better impact on blood sugar. Additionally, pasta is digested slowly, providing steady energy and a prolonged feeling of fullness. That sense of fullness can lead to less consumption of food at the next meal.

Pasta does not make you fat

Excess calories, not carbohydrates, are responsible for obesity. Moreover, very low-carbohydrate diets may not be safe, especially in the long term. A pasta meal can be moderate in its calorie content if the portion size is correct (one-half to two-thirds cup of cooked pasta/80 grams of uncooked pasta) and the dressing or topping is not calorie rich. A study, published in Nutrition & Diabetes, links pasta intake with significantly lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and central obesity.

Pasta is tasty and brings people together

In an age where everything is fast-paced and we’re prone to adopting nutritional fads or diets of the day, pasta remains a mealtime favorite. It is enjoyed at family tables and gourmet restaurants everywhere.

Join the World Pasta Day celebration on Twitter on Oct. 25 by using hashtag: #WorldPastaDay. Tag your favorite #Spaghetti or #SpaghettialPomodoro dish or another pasta favorite.

Events, Industry News, Profiles in Pasta