It’s almost as bad as saying don’t go near that sourdough loaf – but that’s not what we’re saying. Eat the sourdough, eat the rice, eat the couscous, just don’t eat the quinoa for pete’s sake (who the hell is Pete anyway?). Unfortunately as versatile as it may be in cooking, supporting the quinoa industry is just not a very nice thing for us to do.
Why? well I’m glad you asked you curious consumers you. We didn’t want to be the ones to tell you but the sky high consumption of Quinoa has meant that the Peruvians and Bolivians in South America can no longer afford their own staple grain. This is due to the raised prices of quinoa which is due to high western demand. Although we are at the early stages of harvesting quinoa on Australian soil we are still far off and rely heavily on the harvesting in Bolivia. Instead of having easy access to Quinoa which is dense in protein and amino acids, poorer South American locals are opting for junk food because its simply cheaper and more affordable.
Unfortunately by us continuing to support the quinoa market (at the moment) we are only adding to a lack of food security in South America and to be honest that’s a heavy burden on our conscience. Worse off overseas conglomerates like America and Australia are putting pressure on South American soil to eradicate an array of diverse crops and turn it into quinoa harvesting territory. Truly devastating.
Unfortunately through national marketing and the current superfood health craze our obsession with quinoa is only rising and our carbon food-print is only getting worse. If you can’t completely eliminate it, opt to eat quinoa on special occasions particularly if you are vegan. Some alternatives include rice, beans, hummus, buckwheat and soy products. Even then, make sure you are making ethical choices when it comes to supporting the food industry.