Magazine article Geographical

Keen for Quinoa

Magazine article Geographical

Keen for Quinoa

Article excerpt

As popularity of quinoa has escalated in recent years, so too has the price. New research explores the Impact this is having on traditional South American consumers

Few words have more successfully entered the health food vernacular in the last few years than quinoa (with a respectful tip of the hat to both curly kale and chia seeds). This humble grain, grown in the Andean regions of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru for thousands of years, contains all essential amino acids, and thus became known as 'the complete protein', the perfect natural food supplement for vegetarians and fitness fanatics alike Consequently, quinoa imports into the US increased more than tenfold between 2004 and 2013.

However, as the popularity of quinoa was taking off, hot on its footsteps were stories suggesting that Western fondness for this newly trendy 'superfood' was having a devastating impact on developing communities back in South America, many of whom relied on it for their daily nutrition. With prices shooting through the roof, and all available stocks of quinoa being packaged up and shipped to wealthy consumers overseas, local Andean people were being forced to look elsewhere to put food on the table. This economic narrative suggested quinoa might be one of the most unethical products on our shelves. However, a recent study reveals a more complex story.

It is not right to say that this is making people worse off and threatening livelihoods,' responds Marc Bellemare, Director of the Centre for International Food and Agricultural Policy at the University of Minnesota Bellemare led a recent study in Peru on the impact of this 'price shock' on changes in the welfare of households in quinoa-consuming districts. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.