Producto / Quinoa

Quinoa is a cereal from the Bolivian altiplano, where it has been cultivated for approximately 5,000 years. For the Incas it was a plant integrated in the agricultural economy and was called ¨the miracle cereal¨ because it was so vital for subsistence.

Farmers stopped growing quinoa at the the beginning of the last century because they couldn´t compete with the prices of imported cereals. However, since the 1980s there has been a renewed interest in its production.

The protein content of quinoa is so high that it can wholly substitute animal protein. Moreover it has ten essential amino acids for the human body: iron, calcium, phosphorous, mangesium, zinc, and vitamins B, E, I, and C. It´s gluten-free, which makes it great for those with intestinal disorders.

It´s used justlike any other cereal, cooked like rice or couscous, and the leaves of young plants can also be used like spinach, with a high vitamin content.

Quinoa is planted between August and October, and is gathered between April and June. In its natural state it contains saponin that is extracted by spreading the quinoa out on the ground and flattening it with a tractor that allows for removal of the shells. Then the quinoa is washed multiple times and is sun-dried while being cleaned and classified according to its size.

Some of the products made with quinoa under Fair Trade regulations include: traditional Inca beers that are typically acidic in flavor; cikis, which are delicious bags of chocolate with crunchy pieces of quinoa; and Rudis, which are salted crackers

Quinoa as Nourishment

The Food and Agricultural Organization (a body of the United Nations) considers quinoa to be one of the foods of the future and a solution for malnutrition around the world. Fun Fact: Astronauts usually take quinoa bars with them on their trips to space

First picture: Vi..Cult...
Second picture: SETEM / Imagen en Acción
Third picture: Maurice Chédel

This English translation has been possible thanks to the project: Free translation of websites for NGOs and non-profit-making organizations. A project managed by Mondo Services. Translator: Leigh Siderhurst

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