15
   

Grain to feed the starving?

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 10:16 am
Quinoa.

A while back, mac here on A2K turned me onto quinoa. Actually, it's a seed, not a grain.

It's very tasty, versatile, inexpensive, and most importantly, extremely nutritious.

It's unique in that it contains all the amino acids to make a complete protein.

It can grow just about anywhere, as it originated in the harsh conditions of the Andes, so doesn't need fertile soil, and tolerates a high range of climates.

It's been called a "supergrain"

Yet, I've searched high and low on the internet, but can find little as to if or how this grain is being used to help world hunger.

There's a few mentions here and there, but nothing specific. The closest I could find to actual distribution being done is something about "handing out quinoa cookies"

I could be wrong, and there is information out there on how it's being promoted and used. I'd appreciate if anyone has any further information to share.

http://rawinspirations.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/quinoa-cultivation.jpg
http://sial.org/food/recipes/quinoa-pilaf/quinoa-with-vegetables.jpg
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/images/spring-green-quinoa.jpg
http://www.101cookbooks.com/mt-static/images/food/berry_quinoa_recipe.jpg
http://eatdrinkbetter.com/files/2008/05/quinoa_salad.jpg
http://pattycake.ca/files/u3/quinoacorn400.jpg
http://delicioushealing.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/quinoa-salad.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 15 • Views: 3,544 • Replies: 30
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 10:29 am
i'm fond of pinto beans with corn tortillas
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 10:39 am
As am I.

But can they be grown anywhere?

It just seems there's so much possibility with this, and I wonder why it isn't being distributed.

Or is it?
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 10:46 am
I love quinoa. If you cook it in chicken broth and lemon juice, it's delicious hot or cold (as in a salad, with feta, bell peppers, etc).

It doubles as a protein and a fibre source, so it's an excellent thing to eat.

As to your question, I don't know.
Tai Chi
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 11:53 am
From "USA Emergency Supply" https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/all_about_grains/all_about_grains_quinoa.htm

"Quinoa can be grown just about anywhere - presently being grown in the US and Canada. But North American growers, so far, are unable to match the quality of Quinoa that comes from the high mountains of South America. Farmers trying to grow this variety of Quinoa, called Altiplano, haven't been able to get it to produce in the lower elevations of North America. Instead, North American farmers grow a darker brown, more bitter tasting variety of Quinoa called 'Sea Level Quinoa.' The really good, light colored, sweetly delicate Quinoa comes from the highest mountains in the Andes. This 'Golden Grain of the Andes' is such a rugged little plant that it can even grow at high, extremely dry elevations where even grass won't grow. Yet, the most sought-after strains of Quinoa are so fragile that they won't produce at lower elevations on good soil. Interestingly enough, much of the world's Quinoa is grown in Bolivia at elevations around 12,000 feet."



Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 11:56 am
@chai2,
The modern North American culture is late in catching on to the value of this grain that natives have eaten for thousands of years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

Quote:
Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years. Its name is the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name. Quinoa is generally undemanding and altitude-hardy, so it can be easily cultivated in the Andes up to about 4,000 meters. Even so, it grows best in well-drained soils and requires a relatively long growing season. In eastern North America, it is susceptible to a leaf miner that may reduce crop success; this leaf miner also affects the common weed and close relative Chenopodium album, but C. album is much more resistant.

Similar Chenopodium species, such as Pitseed Goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri) and Fat Hen (Chenopodium album), were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular. Fat Hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa but in lower quantities. When grown in heavily fertilized fields, it can accumulate dangerously high concentrations of nitrates.



And here's why it never became popular among the white folk.

Quote:
The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as "chisaya mama" or "mother of all grains", and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using 'golden implements'. During the European conquest of South America quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as "food for Indians," and even actively suppressed, due to its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies.


Here's info on the climate requirements. Many regions are too hot for growing it.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/quinoa.html

Quote:
Quinoa requires short daylengths and cool temperatures for good growth. Areas in South America where it is still produced tend to be marginal agricultural areas that are prone to drought and have soils with low fertility. Cultivated quinoa will flower and produce seed at high elevations between 7,000 and 10,000 ft in Colorado since it requires a cool temperature for good vegetative growth. Research conducted in Colorado reported that temperatures which exceeded 95°F tended to cause plant dormancy or pollen sterility. In several years of trials near the Twin Cities, Minnesota, quinoa plants have failed to set seed; probably due to high temperatures.

Quinoa plants are usually tolerant to light frosts (30° to 32°F). Plants should not be exposed to temperatures below 28°F to avoid the 70 to 80% loss that occurred in Colorado during 1985 when plants were in mid-bloom (Johnson and Croissant, 1990). However, plants are not affected by temperatures down to 20°F after the grain has reached the soft-dough stage. Quinoa will flower earlier when grown in areas with shorter daylengths.

Quinoa is generally not a widely adapted crop due to temperature sensitivity. Farmers should experiment first before planting large acreages.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 12:00 pm
@chai2,
Great stuff. Just have to be careful as it's contraindicated with some meds.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 12:28 pm
@Tai Chi,
Tai Chi wrote:

From "USA Emergency Supply" https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/all_about_grains/all_about_grains_quinoa.htm

"Quinoa can be grown just about anywhere - presently being grown in the US and Canada. But North American growers, so far, are unable to match the quality of Quinoa that comes from the high mountains of South America. Farmers trying to grow this variety of Quinoa, called Altiplano, haven't been able to get it to produce in the lower elevations of North America. Instead, North American farmers grow a darker brown, more bitter tasting variety of Quinoa called 'Sea Level Quinoa.' The really good, light colored, sweetly delicate Quinoa comes from the highest mountains in the Andes. This 'Golden Grain of the Andes' is such a rugged little plant that it can even grow at high, extremely dry elevations where even grass won't grow. Yet, the most sought-after strains of Quinoa are so fragile that they won't produce at lower elevations on good soil. Interestingly enough, much of the world's Quinoa is grown in Bolivia at elevations around 12,000 feet."


Wow, that's interesting Tai Chi Chai Tea.

I actually buy the darker color, "red" quinoa, because it's about half the price.
Never noticed a bitter taste, but I rinse it well, rubbing between my fingers, and strain through a fine sieve before cooking. Mostly I like it for breakfast, cooked in soy milk (or milk if you like) with chopped nuts, honey and banana.

Then again, I like bitter foods, not all, but I don't find it offensive all the time.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 12:36 pm
@chai2,
Now, wait a minute. I heard of the stuff here the same time you did, but didn't have a picture. Looks can be deceiving, but those weed look exactly like amaranth, also known as pigweed. Grows wild around here at 5,000 ft and has an edible grain, sometimes ground into flower. You sure it's not the same thing?
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 01:01 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

Now, wait a minute. I heard of the stuff here the same time you did, but didn't have a picture. Looks can be deceiving, but those weed look exactly like amaranth, also known as pigweed. Grows wild around here at 5,000 ft and has an edible grain, sometimes ground into flower. You sure it's not the same thing?


I think they're related, Roger. Hang on I saw it somewhere...
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 01:03 pm
@roger,
"The wild relatives of both amaranth and quinoa have long been familiar to North American gardeners and are often called by the same name of pigweed. The pigweed that is related to quinoa is also called lamb's-quarters (Chenopodium album), while the ancestor of amaranth is known as red-rooted pigweed or wild amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus). Both pigweeds have the amazing ability to flower and go to seed at any stage of their growth and both will cross with their cultivated progeny. The grower who wants pure strains of either quinoa or amaranth must therefore pay close attention to weeds."

from http://www.saltspringseeds.com/scoop/powerfood.htm
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 01:08 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
Yet, I've searched high and low on the internet, but can find little as to if or how this grain is being used to help world hunger.


well not to sound too conspiratorial, but, i don't think the powers that be want to eliminate world hunger, they talk about it, but i don't think they really want to do anything about it
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 01:09 pm
@roger,
They are related; in the same genus. Some pigweeds are poisonus to humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 01:15 pm
@Tai Chi,
How interesting! We also have a plant here called lamb's-quarters. Not knowing the scientific names of any of them, it might, or might not be related. Our lamg's quarters are a fairly bushy plant, with nothing special about the seeds. Still, the leaves are edible. More than edible in the spring, actually. It makes a better salad or munchie than spinach. I don't know; maybe alfalfa tastes better than spinach, too.

Odd thing about our amaranth. The Anasazi diet lists corn, beans, and squash. No mention of amaranth. I don't know if it's a late arrival, or they just missed a trick.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 01:42 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

chai2 wrote:
Yet, I've searched high and low on the internet, but can find little as to if or how this grain is being used to help world hunger.


well not to sound too conspiratorial, but, i don't think the powers that be want to eliminate world hunger, they talk about it, but i don't think they really want to do anything about it


Oh no, conspire away!

Why, in your opinion, do the powers that be feel that way?
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 03:25 pm
@djjd62,
Quote:
well not to sound too conspiratorial, but, i don't think the powers that be want to eliminate world hunger, they talk about it, but i don't think they really want to do anything about it


i doubt that any single approach can eliminate world hunger .
there seem to be numerous problems : war , draught , poor land , people who have lost all will - having been downtrodden for decades by various forces , unfamiliarity with good farming practices ... and the list goes on .

one report - largely unobserved in north-america - is the move of chinese farmers to africa .
i've read that china welcomes the migration of landless farmers to africa and that some african countries welcome the arrival of chinese farmers that bring experience in good farming practices with them .

i'm sure that is not the complete solution to eliminate world hunger , but perhaps a step in the right direction .

just two of the articles on this subject that i have found interesting :

from the BBC :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7118941.stm

forum on china-africa :
http://www.focac.org/eng/jmhz/t403821.htm


Quote:
Zambia welcomes Chinese agricultural know-how


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2006-03-23

Zambia needs China's assistance in technology and experts to develop agriculture so that it can feed its 11 million people, an agriculture official told a Chinese delegation Monday.
Zambia is hardly able to feed itself after more than 40 years of independence although it is bestowed with vast land and abundant water resources, said Minister of Agriculture Mundia Sikatana.

He attributed the plight of the country to the backward technology and lack of agricultural experts.

The 11-member Chinese delegation led by Wei Jianguo, deputy minister of commerce, and Wan Baorui, a senior agriculture official, is in the country looking into the feasibilities for thetwo countries' further cooperation in the agricultural sector.

Wan said China and Zambia have achieved a lot in the cooperation in the sector.

Farms operated by Chinese was set up in Zambia over a decade ago and there are currently a total of 15 state-owned and private Chinese farms in the country, which are playing an important role in contributing to the gross domestic products as well as solving the problem of unemployment.

He said the three-day visit was aimed to discuss with the Zambian government the direction of agricultural cooperation and find out new cooperative modalities.

Sikatana said China can help Zambia in many ways such as helping build an advanced irrigation system.

"Our government intends to establish a system of irrigation to enable Zambia to grow crops throughout the year instead of only inthe rainy seasons," the minister said.

The majority of the country's scattered farmers have no way to engage in crops growing during the dry seasons between April and November as a result of the lack of a well developed irrigation system though abundant water has been stocked underground.

Sikatana said China could help Zambia build canals, dams and other irrigation projects with advanced technologies and guidance from Chinese experts.

Farmer training is equally important, said the minister, addingthat the country intends to establish training centers for farmersin all its 72 districts and China can also play a role in this field.

"The best we can learn from China is to do like Chinese," Sikatana said.



but a problem also arises when cheap grain is being imported making it impossible for local farmers to make a living from their land :

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/world/Farmers-face-ruin-as-market.4934375.jp

Quote:
Farmers face ruin as market madness upsets rice bowl of Africa


there does not seem to be a "one-size-fits-all" solution .
hbg
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 11:47 am
@Mame,
Mame, can you tell me if I could find this in our usual grocery stores here in BC? I can't recall seeing it on the shelves. Do you know if it's expensive? I'm intrigued enough to check it out.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 11:51 am
@Reyn,
Me too!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 02:31 pm
@Reyn,

Reyn wrote:

Mame, can you tell me if I could find this in our usual grocery stores here in BC? I can't recall seeing it on the shelves. Do you know if it's expensive? I'm intrigued enough to check it out.




Reyn and Chumley

You can find it in any store that sells grains in a bin; rice, millet, bulger, that sort of thing.

It comes in 2 colors, red and tan.
I bought some yesterday, the red kind. It was I think $2 a pound, american. The lighter color one is double the price.

Make sure you rinse it well before cooking, as it has that bitter coating. Like I said, I'll put it in a bowl of water, rub a bit, then rinse through a fine sieve.

I've never tasted it by itself, I would think it would be too bland. You can make it sweet or savory, and there's tons of receipes on the internet.

It's slightly crunchy and chewy, which is quite nice.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 02:38 pm
@chai2,
hamburgers article on china is interesting, but i think in the western world, we are more likely to say, oh it's terrible can't we do something, and then not really do anything useful, mostly be cause it's not profitable
0 Replies
 
 

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