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The Changing Geography of Quinoa

The Changing Geography of Quinoa | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition
Seth Dixon's insight:

Quinoa was once a traditional Andean grain that few outside of South America consumed, but it has quickly become a staple among the health-conscious in developed countries in recent years.  Dieticians and nutritional experts give it their seal of approval because it is a low-fat starch that is high in protein and filled with amino acids.  This rapid adoption of quinoa in high-priced whole food stores has changed the economics of quinoa dramatically.  Peruvian and Bolivian farmers are selling at high prices with huge global demand.  Local consumers who have traditionally relied on this crop however, now have to pay triple the price to eat quinoa, causing some to question the ethics of quinoa consumption.  A simple change in cultural eating habits in one part of the world can have some major impacts on the economy and agriculture of another region.  


Tags: food, agriculture, South America, consumption, unit 5 agriculture.

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Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 15, 9:29 PM

Formally working in a whole food grocery store I have seen first hand the popularity of this starch. It is sad to think that because of the need for developed countries to "try" something new or "keep up" with what's popular ,a population is suffering. It makes me wonder is this not a crop that we could grow in the United States ?Not only to keep costs down but to relieve some stress on people such as the Peruvians.Can't we help these farmers who depend on this food as a staple in their diets?

 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 8:48 PM

Bolivia and Peru once enjoyed Quinoa as a locally grown grain that was used in a nutritious diet. However, because  other parts of the world are becoming increasingly accustomed to Quinoa it is driving the price of the grain in both countries, which is putting the locals in a tough pot because it is practically tripling in price. The poorer citizens are struggling to get Quinoa, something that they once got relatively easy.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 7:12 PM

This is an example of the harmful effect of globalization, those who grew quinoa for food are now forced to ship away their food source leading to starvation and a slew of other issues. Those in the west with their obsession with "Super Foods" have without realizing it driven up the price of this grain to the extend that those who relied upon it as their staple crop can no longer afford to eat it themselves.

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