All vegetarians, vegans, and quinoa consumers out there! This so-called ‘Miracle Grain’ may be healthy for you; however think twice before you go fill up your carts at Whole Foods, because you are significantly impacting the lives of the people that are putting quinoa in these stores.
These Are The The Negative Effects Of Eating Quinoa:
1.) Drastic increase of price in developed countries such as Peru and Bolivia
Supply and demand. It's simple right? As we can imagine, the global demand for this 'miracle grain', quinoa is significantly driving the price up; almost making it impossible for local bolivians and even quinoa farmers themselves to consume. Bolivians have now resorted to a cheaper means of living by consuming junk food and not-as-healthy products such as breads & pastas. The price you pay to survive right? No… it's impacting them alot more than just consumption ways.
2.) Impact on Land Use
As we are aware, Quinoa production has been rapidly expanding since 2006 and is one of the most sought out grains on the planet. Now, since copious areas are in near-constant production, this has began to threaten the soil’s fertility. The herds of llama that have supplied manure to fertilize quinoa have diminished to make way for large quinoa plots. Many government programs are allocating out tractors, and this industrialization is granting for the farming of bigger and bigger fields.
Desertification, which is characterized by saline soils, as well as a loss of erosion, nutrients, and minimizing yields, is sparked by heightened industrialization of farming practices as well as a interruption of agriculture. Considering, quinoa was once grown on small hillsides in places like Peru and Bolivia; however this small grain is now moving onto much larger areas committed to llama foraging. Moreover, this is clearing out the high biodiversity of native wetlands and pastures which is imperative for this system's sustainability.
So, with that said, no economics professor would argue that farmers in Bolivia or Peru shouldn't get a great price for their crop; however these reasons cannot be neglected. This so-called 'boom' or 'trend' is leading the most susceptible farmers to degenerate their own environment.
Please keep these reasons in mind next time your at your local whole foods stocking up the cart.