Quinoa has been one of the healthiest foods to hit the U.S. since acai and goji berries. We love the stuff and with good reason. Quinoa is a complete protein and can substitute for less sustainable proteins. Quinoa is high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc.
But undoubtedly, its popularity abroad has brought on problems for its native country, Bolivia. Bolivians, like other third world nations, are replacing healthy indigenous foods with processed junk food because of price and availability. Bolivia's consumption of the staple fell 34 percent, according to the country's agricultural ministry. Its exportation has caused a price hike that many Bolivians just can't keep up with any longer.
In response to food shortages, a new law signed by Bolivian president Evo Morales will provide non-gmo seeds to small scale farmers in an effort to avoid an eager Monsanto just waiting to spread its business south.
According to Organic Authority:
In what Morales is calling a "food revolution," over the course of the next decade, the government will invest $5 billion, mostly in supporting small-scale farmers and growers to help establish an inclusive, holistic food system, eliminating the country's need to purchase GMO seeds from companies like Monsanto that are eager to expand their presence in South America.
Morales' new plan also calls for heirloom seed saving and reducing Bolivia's dependence on fossil fuels. This isn't the first time a nation has thoughtfully rejected Monsanto's expansion into their borders. Haiti did the same a while back. Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, peasant farmer leader of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti "a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds." Chavannes Jean-Baptiste vowed to burn any seeds Monsanto tried to "donate." It's an example that American lawmakers should consider following instead of allowing the destruction of small farmers and biodiversity in our own country.
Like this? Follow my Twitter feed.