Quinoa: a cultural anchor and a staple sown thousands of years ago
The United Nations on Wednesday officially launched the International Year of Quinoa. The extraordinary grain has been a cultural anchor and a staple in the diet of millions of people throughout the Andes for thousands of years. And as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted in remarks marking the occasion, Quinoa has two great advantages. First, it is highly nutritious in that it is gluten-free, contains all the essential oils and amino acids, and is a good source of calcium, iron and protein. “Second, quinoa is adaptable. It can be grown in many different ecological and climatic conditions – including where soil moisture is low. This is especially important in a warming world, in which desertification and land degradation are becoming ever more pressing issues.” UN Secretary-General says the tolerance of quinoa to arid conditions makes it an attractive crop for farmers in all regions
Report by Donn Bobb, United Nations (includes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement).