Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Guardian: "Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?"

Thought-provoking weekend reading about what you eat, where it originates, and why it matters.

Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa? Ethical consumers should be aware poor Bolivians can no longer afford their staple grain, due to western demand raising prices, by Joanna Blythman (

... But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture ...

... Omnivores have it easy. Britain excels in producing meat and dairy foods for them to enjoy. However, a rummage through the shopping baskets of vegetarians and vegans swiftly clocks up the food miles, a consequence of their higher dependency on products imported from faraway places. From tofu and tamari to carob and chickpeas, the axis of the vegetarian shopping list is heavily skewed to global.

1 comment:

Blogosaurus said...

As mentionned in the comments in the guardian's article,
Joanna Blythman is clueless about the causes of deforestation and rising food prices. She falsely blames vegans, when the main cause is actually excessive meat consumption in the first world.
She seems to think that the meat grown in her country grows magically without feeding the animal any imported feed...