World Hunger Caused by Vegans?
Worldwide Shortage of Quinoa!
I came across this silly article on quinoa the other day on the UK Guardian website. I think it goes to show how uninformed many people are, about the food they eat and the world around them. Have a look at some of the comments too, many of them are way off the mark. Just for the record, it’s the nature of being a vegan that they try to avoid disrupting food supplies in this way, and it’s very unlikely they ever would.
Quinoa is a member of the Chenopodiaceae or ‘Goosefoot’ family, more or less a domesticated weed. It grows in pretty much any agricultural area, and can even be grown in home gardens. In spite of what the above article says, it has been grown by the Fife Diet people in the UK. It does require some special equipment for processing like seed cleaning screens, and a way to remove the bitter saponins from the seed coats. I’ve grown it before, here in Amsterdam. It does not use an unusal amount of water, and there’s no reason for it to be imported from Bolivia or any area affected by drought. If any unusual demand for this grain is disrupting supply and demand in any region, or markets are flooded with cheaper alternative foods that are less healthy, it’s only a symptom the world’s food supply is very broken.
It’s a good thing if more people eat quinoa.
If you’ve never had quinoa, it’s very nice! You can eat it like rice. It cooks just like white rice, with the same proportion of water. It works fine in a rice cooker, which is what we use. The flavor is more complex and a little bitter, and it’s a bit more filling than rice. Start by making about half as much as you would normally rice, and taste it before mixing it in with other foods like fried rice or soup.
Quinoa is one of the so-called Lost Crops of the Incas, sometimes called Incan Rice. It’s from the Andes, the same region as the potato, and has the potential to become a food as important as the potato.
Don’t be afraid to eat and enjoy it!
Have a look at this blog post by EcoSuave.