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NDTO News Article

Local Growers Help Children in Guatemala

Seven members of the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association are making life a little better for children in Guatemala.  On Friday, August 12, 2011 the group loaded 88,000 lbs of soybeans into shipping containers to start the 2000-plus-mile trip from Moorhead, Minnesota to the Central American country.  Members of the NFGSA met at SK Food Specialty Processing facility to donate more than 190 30-kg bags of soybeans each for a joint World Soy Foundation and Food for the Poor “SoyCow” project.  

“The World Soy Foundation deeply appreciates the rapid response that the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association showed when we identified this opportunity to do so much good in Guatemala,” said World Soy Foundation Executive Director Nathan Ruby. “This donation not only helps meet immediate needs in fighting hunger, but it creates local business opportunities with the SoyCows.”

 A “SoyCow” is a processing system that can grind and cook whole soybeans into soymilk to make beverages, soya “cheese” (tofu), yogurt and other soyfoods. The SoyCow can process about 4 pounds of raw soybeans into 4 gallons of nutritious soymilk or yogurt in about 20 minutes. The nutritious by-product can be used in breads, spreads and many other foods.  The World Soy Foundation and its partners have worked with groups in multiple developing countries that use the SoyCows to produce foods for orphanages and still have food available to sell, making the operations economically sustainable.

With more than 39,000 square miles of land, Guatemala is about half the size of North Dakota and is a food insecure country with a weak domestic economy.  Almost 57 percent of Guatemalans are considered poor, and half of the country’s population lives on less than $2 a day.  Chronic malnutrition affects about half of all children under 5 years of age, which is the highest level in Latin America and is increasing.

“Through NFGSA’s mission, to promote and support the health and growth of northern food-grade soybean production, we are pleased to participate in the donation of high-quality soybeans to foster soy-based nutrition to those who may not otherwise have reliable food sources,” said Tara Froemming of SK Food International.

The NFGSA is made up of seven NDTO member companies that include: Brushvale Seed Inc. of Breckenridge, MN; Richland Organics of Breckenridge, MN; SK Food International of Fargo; SB&B Foods Inc. of Casselton, ND; SunOpta Grains and Food Group of Moorhead, MN; Unity Seed of Casselton, ND and Dakota Pride Cooperative of Jamestown, ND.  Their mission is to promote and support the health and growth of northern food-grade soybean production by providing leadership and value to their members and the marketplace.