Quinoa – Another Perspective

22 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

 

Quinoa - Image from Incaorganics.com

Yesterday I noticed an interesting article in the New York Times about how the popularity of quinoa (KEEN-wa) in America and Europe has been a boon for Bolivian farmers but has also caused the price of the grain to be out of reach for many in the country, who rely on it as a staple.  Now many in this region are relying on less expensive, and often nutritionally deficient foods, some of which are most likely from U.S. sources.  Quinoa has a relatively high protein content (14-18%), compared to other seed/grains, and it is loaded with amino acids and minerals.  It is also a great alternative for those on a gluten-free diet.  These characteristics have made it very popular in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Image from Bob's Red Mill site.

I found the conundrum the article presents very thought-provoking and it was difficult to write about this topic.   I have mixed feelings about this and I would guess many of you do as well.  Obviously, L and I are very interested in eating locally when we can, as well as eating foods with high nutritional value, and we both realize that we are fortunate to have the resources to do this.  Neither of us are rich, but by global standards, we are in a much better position than many and we should be grateful for the luxury of being able to choose what we eat.   Americans can choose to buy quinoa, jasmine rice, couscous, or whatever grain we want, it’s all there in your local grocery store.  This article was a great reminder that such a wide range of choices is not available to everyone, that we are the exception and our choices will affect others.

What do you all think?  Will you reconsider buying quinoa?

Now just to complicate matters, here’s a roundup of some of the interwebs best quinoa recipes:

 

Lemon-scented Quinoa Salad from 101 Cookbooks

 

Quinoa Cloud Cookies from 101 Cookbooks

Mexican-style Quinoa Salad by SummerTomato

Quinoa Turkey Burgers by ChefMom

Spiced Courgette, Quinoa and Apricot Salad from Essentially Healthy Food

Orange Quinoa Muffins by Gluten Free Gobsmacked

Whole Grain Quinoa Bread by Chef In You

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