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Once known as “the gold of the Incas”, quinoa is growing in popularity with foodies and health-conscious consumers
08 Jan 2014 -Once known as “the gold of the Incas,” quinoa has been one of the world’s neglected crops but is currently becoming more and more popular. For centuries, quinoa remained a hidden treasure grown almost exclusively by indigenous communities in the Andean heights. Lately, quinoa has been growing in popularity with foodies and health-conscious consumers around the world. It was even selected by NASA as part of an astronaut’s perfect diet.
Yet, quinoa’s potential for improving nutrition and feeding hungry people has barely been tapped. The grain-like seeds of quinoa are high in proteins and minerals, and it is the only plant containing a complete range of amino acids. There are more than 3,000 varieties. Most quinoa is still produced organically and on small-scale family farms by about 130,000 producers in the Andean region of South America. And as the newly “discovered” food becomes better known in other parts of the world, farmers are getting a higher price for their crop.
The UN declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa in an effort to raise the food’s profile and draw attention to these issues. As part of the International Year and with the support of FAO, quinoa could be grown in 26 countries in all regions of the world in areas where diets are lacking in protein and quinoa production could boost nutrition and incomes in rural areas.
If you’ve never tried it, here are a few recipes you can try out. The close to 40 recipes will satisfy all cultures and tastes. Check them out, enjoy and spread the word!