“Made in Italy”
No, not really. Pasta the symbol of the food and wine tradition of Italy, is not truly “Made in Italy,” not all of it at least.
In 2018 the pasta market underwent many changes; from new laws, to public opinion protestations, to agreements between the major players in the sector. Last February, in fact, came into force the decree that calls for new labels for pasta. Labels must specify the country of origin/cultivation of wheat.
The sticking point was the presence of “glyphosate” in pasta, used as a herbicide in wheat. According to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the herbicide has not proved to be ”carcinogenic” or capable of negatively influencing reproduction, but it can cause serious damage to the eyes and to be toxic. While the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), argues that: glyphosate belongs to the 2A group (“probable carcinogens“). This has raised concern from consumers, pushing one of the largest giants of production of pasta in Italy, Barilla, to cut by 35% grain imports from Canada (where glyphosate is used during pre-harvest).
Keeping consumer confidence is therefore one of the major objectives of pasta producers. Therefore we can ask why pasta is not produced only using wheat grown within the national borders?
Italy produces about 4 million tons of durum wheat a year, compared to a need of 6 million. This difference in quantity needed for production leads some companies to look for wheat abroad, in order to sustain the demand both for the domestic consumption and export.
Pasta production today is close to 15 million tons, up 3% over last year. All this in order to cope with an increasingly massive global consumption of pasta. Germany, UK, France, USA and Japan are the countries that most prefer a pasta “Made in Italy,” while there are increases in demands by Russia (+ 76%), Holland (+ 29%), Saudi Arabia ( + 27%) and Australia (+ 16%).
What are the brands that produce pasta with 100% Italian wheat; below some of the brands most likely to be present abroad:
- La Molisana
- Pasta Mancini
- Pasta Toscana
- Rummo, linea integrale
- Valle Del Grano
In fairness this is the entire list of producers which use 100% Italian wheat:
Agnesi, Alce Nero, Amoreterra, Antonio Amato, Azienda Agricola Caccese, Baronìa, Casa Prencipe, Fratelli Minaglia, Gentile, Ghigi, Girolomoni, Granoro, La Molisana, Liguori, Martelli, Pasta Armando, Pasta Coop linea Fior Fiore, Pasta Despar Premium, Pasta Mancini, Pasta Toscana, Pastificio Benedetto Cavalieri, Pastificio Di Martino, Pastificio Dei Campi, Pastificio Graziano, Pastificio Nicola Russo, Pastificio Sgambaro, Rummo, Verrigni, Valle Del Grano, Voiello.