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Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition
The beautiful Quinoa plants grow and thrive in harsh conditions where nothing else can grow. Quinoa is one of the planets most nutritious food source that was once just a sacred crop for the Andean culture. It is now a health food for the middle class in the US and Europe, but the increased demand means less for the people of Bolivia and Peru and tripled prices. Many are concerned this could cause malnutrition because it is their main food source and it is now being taken from them at a rapid pace. Battles have even begun to be fought over prime Quinoa growing land. I love Quinoa, and its a big part of my diet but I never realized how important it was to the people of Bolivia and Peru or how much they relied on it.
I have never heard of Quinoa until I read this article. I found myself amazed at the properties of this food especially when it is grown in such an inhospitable environment for growing other crops. It is sad that the poor people eat less of it now but the income it generates for them is a good thing. It allows them to increase their standards of living and entices people to return to their home villages rather than crowd into cities. With the increased income they can improve the variety of foods in their diets even if it means the decrease in consumption of the quinoa.