3 December 2013
Launch of the book "Quinoa in the kitchen"
a collaboration of FAO and Slow Food in the context of
the International Year of Quinoa 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to join my friend Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food, to launch “Quinoa in the kitchen”.
This joint publication is a result of the partnership between FAO and Slow Food and a contribution to the International Year of Quinoa.
The book is published in English and Italian and informs the general public on quinoa.
It highlights the nutritional value of quinoa. This gift from the Andes is a good source of many nutrients, has more protein than most grains and has a favorable balance between its essential amino acid content.
The book will also help readers integrate quinoa in their everyday eating habits thanks to recipes from renowned international chefs.
Finally, the book highlights the potentialities of quinoa’s sustainable production.
There are more than three thousand varieties or ecotypes of quinoa, cultivated and wild.
This diversity explains how quinoa can be cultivated up to about 4000 meters above sea level and withstands temperatures from minus 8 to 38 degrees Celsius.
Its capacity to adapt to different conditions also makes it a valuable asset against climate change.
In this regard, I am pleased to report that, as a result of the International Year, quinoa could be grown in 26 countries in all regions of the world, with the support of FAO.
Let me point out that the effort to promote quinoa is part of a broader FAO strategy to promote traditional or forgotten crops.
This is a way to preserve local cultures and traditions and to enrich and diversify the eating habits of populations worldwide. It is also a strategy for coping with higher and more volatile international food prices.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As they say, the end of a journey is the beginning of a legacy. As the International Year of Quinoa draws to a close, its effects will reach far into the future.
I am also very pleased to say that the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and the First Lady of Peru, Nadine Heredia, have accepted to continue as Special Ambassadors for Quinoa in 2014, and will participate in activities in the framework of the International Year of Family Farming throughout the year.
Let me also thank Slow Food again for the work we have done together so far. I look forward to strengthening our partnership far beyond 2013.
I thank you very much for your attention.