Keen on Quinoa - Emily G - Draft
28 May, 2015 | Emily Gray
PHOTO: PABLO PANIAGUA WWW.SINMOTIVO.COM
For thousands of years, quinoa was a cheap, common, staple food grain for the people of the Andes. In recent years, though, the demand for quinoa in western cultures has sky-rocketed as more people recognise quinoa as an incomparably healthy carbohydrate packed with vitamins, minerals and protein. Essentially, American and European foodies love it, and in 2013,, as does the United Nations, which the International Year of Quinoa to recognize the grain’s growing popularity across the world and to honor the Andean farmers who grow it.
This recent trend poses positive and negative consequences for Bolivia, where the crop is abundant. On one hand, quinoa companies in the country have managed to grown quickly as they can now sell one packet of quinoa in the US market for four times the price in Bolivia. In the Bolivian market, however, the price of quinoa has been rising, putting this staple food item out of reach for many locals.
The final impact of the growing global market for quinoa on the Bolivian economy has yet to be seen. But one thing is for sure: whether you're an American raw food blogger seeking lactose-free quinoa milk, muffins or beer, or an Alteño snacking on a bagged hot apple-quinoa puree bought from a street-vendor, quinoa is the power food of the people.