|Photograph: George Steinmetz/Corbis guardianews.com|
I like carbohydrates as much as the next person but when I tire of brown rice and whole wheat bread, I love to turn to quinoa as a nice alternative. Technically quinoa is a seed rather than a grain. It is a good source for carbohydrates, and has a high amount of protein when compared to traditional grains. I read two articles last week that brought up some of the social issues that we should think about when eating quinoa.
The first article from The Guardian is written by Dan Collyns. He points out that the price of quinoa has tripled since 2006. I would assume this is good for farmers and producers. He does a good job of discussing the pros and cons for the producers. They are getting more money for their crop, but they are less likely to consume quinoa because they can sell for such a high premium.
The second article on the same site is written by Joanna Blythman and it paints a more negative picture of the increased demand for quinoa. She points out that most of the people and countries that produce quinoa are so poor that they can't afford to eat such a highly valued product. Instead, they export quinoa, and import cheaper, unhealthier, processed foods.
What are your thoughts about these ideas? What role should this information play in your food consumption? Do we buy quinoa to help those farmers that are selling it, or refrain from buying so that those countries that produce it can afford to eat healthier?