2013: The International Year of QuinoaThe year 2013 has been titled “The International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has named Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, the Special Ambassador for the International Year of Quinoa. So, why is that important?

Quinoa is a semi-cereal, not quite a grain, that is mostly grown in Peru and Bolivia. If you have any “foodie” friends or know any hip cooks, you will probably have heard a lot about quinoa. In fact, the factor of “hipness” may have had a huge part in increasing the popularity of the food, as well as the fact that it has astonishing nutritional value. The UN’s declaration of 2013 being the International Year of Quinoa is part of an effort to further increase the food’s popularity. The real reason that quinoa is being pushed as a popular food is that quinoa is extraordinarily hardy, and is a great source of amino-acids. It is one of the most durable foods on Earth. Quinoa is able to thrive even in semi-arid deserts and the high Altiplano.

Quinoa is now being planted more and more in other harsh climates that span countries like Chad and Niger. While most of the world’s quinoa still comes from Peru and Bolivia, it is gaining ground in other countries. The heightened popularity of the food has increased the average crop value and provided higher income to farmers and local business owners alike. Hopefully, the popular attention that quinoa is receiving will help consumers make the choice to join in and celebrate the International Year of Quinoa.

Kevin Sullivan

Source: United Nationsl