“What is this?” Scott is holding a plastic container, lid off, refrigerator door ajar, and nose crinkled.
“Oh, it’s Apple Cinnamon Quinoa. It’s a breakfast recipe from a friend’s blog.”
“Well, it is rotten,” he declares.
“Yeah, I thought I would try it. It’s supposed to be a super food, apparently I didn’t like it. I would eat it in place of oatmeal…” I explained away the beigey food.
“Which is another super food…” my husband finished as he was scraping it out into the compost.
“Yep.” There it is. I tried it. I didn’t like it. We’ve given quinoa the good old college try before. The germy, squishy texture didn’t pass. I like super foods, I use them a lot in our diet. I replace yogurt for mayo, not because we eat low fat, but because yogurt is a healthier more power packed food that mayonnaise. I like the idea of quinoa, a protein packed grain. Most power foods I do prefer the taste of; but not this one.
Then Scott read that South Americans could no longer afford quinoa because the demand in the west had grown so great that the cost had skyrocketed. People who rely on the grain for protein can no longer buy it. I don’t rely on the protein in quinoa; we live in a nutrient dense country. I can get protein in other healthy sources. Here we are denying a people group of their food because we think it will make us healthier, or skinnier. Usually skinnier.
I’m as guilty of this sin as any other American. Coffee is my favorite food. Have you ever tried to order coffee in a developing country that grows coffee? Usually you get a packet of instant Nescafe and hot water. The demand in America and European markets has driven up the prices so the people that grow it cannot even afford it. I like to pat myself on the back that I am better because coffee is a luxury, but it’s the same principle. If all Americans drank less maybe others could have it too.
I am not telling you to boycott quinoa, I will, but I don’t like it. Those friends of mine who do eat quinoa are doing so very mindfully, they are feeding their family with health in mind and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wonder if maybe we can find other sources of nutrition and let those that need it have theirs.