Is Quinoa Unhealthy For Its Producers?



Today's episode is brought to you by listerine ready tabs small discrete tabs, the transform from a solid to a liquid just to switch and swallow no sink required to get that just brushed clean feeling, and they pack a huge punch up to four hours of fresh breath, and the confidence that goes with it on the go wherever life takes you to a surprise meeting a date you want to freshen up for or just from one event to another try listen ready tabs today. Find them near the mouthwash. Welcome to brain stuff from how stuff works. Hey, rain stuff. Lauren Bogle bomb. Here. Keen wa has caused quite a lot of confusion during its short tenure on the worldwide seen race for thousands of years in the Indian mountain region of South America. It's only really blown up worldwide over the past decade, the United Nations food and Agriculture Organization declared twenty thirteen the international year of wa giving the crop a big boost on the world stage. The declaration was intended as a way to highlight crops that were unknown if forgotten at least to the wider world as a way of promoting food security, but along with Kim was rabbit sense to the top of the health food chain came news reports that local populations in Peru and Bolivia could no longer afford to buy it as the prices had doubled or tripled. But before we get into that some basics Qinhua spelled Q U. I N A in case you've seen the word, but never heard it pronounced cooks like rice looks sort of like couscous and packs a serious nutritive punch. It's high in protein contains all these amino acid. And is high in iron and fiber. It's eaten like a grain. But it's really more like a seed or a vegetable, and it's also gluten free in short checks a lot of boxes for folks looking to eat fewer animal products, or if you were carbs, but is it's mainstream popularity hurting the people who grow it. Researchers have called through year's worth of data two thousand four to two thousand thirteen from a national Peruvian survey to find out how these seemingly worldwide Kenwa frenzy affected. The quality of local citizens lives over that period. Their circumstances actually seemed to have improved. We spoke by Email with one of those researchers Marc Bellemare and associate professor of applied economics and director of the center for international food and agricultural policy at the university of Minnesota. He said in most cases, we find that rising Kenwa prices have modestly increased to the welfare of both Kimba producers and can what consumers in Peru at worst. We find a small decline in welfare in some region. Wins. But that decline is almost nil at less than one percent of total welfare welfare here is defined as the value of a household consumption expenditures, Bella explained since consumption tends to be function of income consumption is a good proxy for income. But it's not necessarily all good news. There are a couple of concerns that could still affect the people who originally grew Kenwa Bella. Mir said the first is that once the price of kin wall fell back down to its pre twenty ten level many, small producers told us they were holding onto their grain in the hope that the price would spike back up. But this is highly unlikely to happen considering that with the want price spike in two thousand thirteen many new producers got into the Kenwa production game which lowered the price a probably permanently. Unless there's a new spike in the international demand of kin wa. The other problem is an issue of maintaining bio-diversity very few varieties of kin while are exported to places like the US and UK especially compared with these some hundred varieties grown in Peru. And so if it's most worthwhile for producers to grow for export markets. Those other local varieties might disappear forever. This phenomenon isn't good for the longstanding health of crops, and it's not a new problem take the banana when I say banana, you probably think of a very particular variety of the fruit, but someone greatly enlarged in gently bent a yellow number two pencil. That's a cabin dish banana, and it's the only one many of us encounter outside of the tropics its popularity elbowed out other varieties and farmers came to rely on it as a staple export. Which sounds great a right up until a fungus that affects only that variety swept in and started destroying crops. If you haven't heard scientists are now racing to figure out a way to save it, and that's the danger of monocultures, the Irish potato blight is another example. That's why organizations like bio-diversity international have piloted programs to give native farmers incentives to grow the less in demand varieties of kin wa so Wilkin will ever wear out. Its welcome it. Sure doesn't look that way. Where it used to be limited to health food stores and vegan rest. Wants can what is showing up on mainstream menus now in place of rice or pasta as part of main entrees as breakfast cereal or even added to soups and salads, hopefully with cooperation among exporters, and researchers conditions will only continue to improve for can was growers in for Ken while itself. Today's episode was written by Elliott and produced by Tyler clang for heart media, and how stuff works for more on this and lots of other nutritive, topics. Visit our home planet has stuff works dot com. Hebron stuff listeners for all you fans of true crime investigations. There's a new podcast from glamour, and how stuff works Marcus Hanna. Devante Abigail, Jeremiah and Sierra were all black children adopted by two white women, Sarah and Jennifer heart. It looked as if the hearts were the perfect family, but their lives ended in a murder suicide car crash that shocked their friends and made national headlines starting Semper forth with new episodes every Tuesday co host Justin and Elizabeth follow the families fatal journey even listen subscribe to broken hearts, spelled H A R T S on apple podcasts

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