Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Quinoa Wars of Bolivia: Hard Hitting Journalism at its Best

I figure I've posted enough photos of Quinoa so here's Miss Bolivia!

This morning I was given insider information (by an article in Yahoo news) on a looming battle for control of Quinoa on the Bolivian highlands.  According to Time magazine:

"Over the past decade, the "Andean superfood" has become a pinnacle product for First World foodies. Often mistaken for a grain, quinoa is actually a chenopod (cousin to a beet); rich in minerals, it's the only vegetable that's a complete protein. To the added delight of politically correct health nuts, it's produced by small-scale Andean farmers like Huarachi who reap direct benefits of its international popularity. Recently, those benefits have skyrocketed: quinoa's price has tripled since 2006, triggering a boom in the poorest region of South America's poorest country"
While this all sounds fine and dandy for those Bolivian folks, I guess the influx of money for the greatness that is Bolivian quinoa has caused some squabbling including a three day land battle between farmers over land this past February where people were temporarily kidnapped, dozens were injured, and some wild man took it to an all new level and blew up some dynamite which made another guy lose his freaking arm!  I think the dynamite chuck must be the Bolivian equivalent to a 'shoot up in da club' here in the U.S.

All told, prices for quinoa on the world market are skyrocketing and this is causing a huge issue with land usage in Bolivia where, up till now, 90% of the quinoa grown was completely organic.  Bottom line...those dynamite chucking Bolivians aren't going to keep up with exploding demand so that means we should do what Americans to best and that's panic and start hoarding quinoa!  Get the fuck out of my way, I'm going to go raid every Trader Joes from here to the Mexican border!

Full Article Here

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