Skip to comments.Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?
Posted on 01/17/2013 12:38:00 AM PST by Cronos
Not long ago, quinoa was just an obscure Peruvian grain you could only buy in wholefood shops. We struggled to pronounce it (it's keen-wa, not qui-no-a), yet it was feted by food lovers as a novel addition to the familiar ranks of couscous and rice. Dieticians clucked over quinoa approvingly because it ticked the low-fat box and fitted in with government healthy eating advice to "base your meals on starchy foods".
Adventurous eaters liked its slightly bitter taste and the little white curls that formed around the grains. Vegans embraced quinoa as a credibly nutritious substitute for meat. Unusual among grains, quinoa has a high protein content (between 14%-18%), and it contains all those pesky, yet essential, amino acids needed for good health that can prove so elusive to vegetarians who prefer not to pop food supplements.
Sales took off. Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the "miracle grain of the Andes", a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider's larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn't feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up it has tripled since 2006 with more rarified black, red and "royal" types commanding particularly handsome premiums.
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Embarrassingly, for those who portray it as a progressive alternative to planet-destroying meat, soya production is now one of the two main causes of deforestation in South America, along with cattle ranching, where vast expanses of forest and grassland have been felled to make way for huge plantations.
all that stuff came to a big screeching halt when Obama became President. The world economy fell off a ledge and it can’t get up. PLUS we have this enormous drought in Eurasia and North America. It’s a regular aspect of this planet ~ about once in every 80 years (give or take a few) we have this enormous drought. prices go up.
Are most of the people who eat quinoa vegans? I doubt it. I’ve had dishes at restaurants before. I never realized it was evil.
Well, there’s tasty Mississippian indian sumpweed yet to try.
and there's Illinois bundleflower...
“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” - Obama accepts the nomination in 2008.
All the sapolins in quinoa have to be removed because it will give you the runs. It will anyway.
I’ve never had it, but I know that my vegan friend went ga-ga over this a year ago as it was a substitute for meat.
I did. The taste and consistency was a big clue.
Weight 7.00 lbs Price: $37.04
I don’t really follow why everything it mentions are so bad. If you don’t share their hipster, leftist assumptions it all sounds like discussion of Hegelian dialectics or exegesis on the Koran.
I don’t like the “little white curls” they talk about. It creeps me out. I don’t like grains that move while I’m eating them.
I’m with ya.
Dandelion seed is THE way to go.
I’ve had quinoa several times and I actually enjoy it. it’s a little bland to say the least, but it’s a great substitute when I don’t want to feel “heavy” with pasta.
But, it was a stroke of marketing genius. All the socially responsible little leftists can have somebody else cook it, then zoom into the parking lot in their little SUV that doesn't get any better mileage than the big ones, run in with the engine running and the doors locked so FooFoo doesn't get hot or cold, buy four trays full on the way home from their government job and zoom back home to nourish the PC brood in time to hit a few downtown bars while househusband babysits.
As with all things Progressive, there can never be a silver lining without a dark heavy rain cloud near by.
The think that gets me is the name! Every bag and box of it has this: Quinoa — Pronounced “Keen-wha”... You know what? If you got to spell out how people should say it, maybe that's what you should name it! It's pretentious!
Eh, it’s not that bad. There is pasta made out of it that is reasonably good - folks like me who are allergic to wheat eat it.
I’ll say it how I damn well want to say it.
> ... It’s expensive, so I don’t buy it anymore.
It’s probably like the Chia seeds that my wife tried a few years ago.
The first time she bought them they were about a dollar a pound.
A year later $4 per pound, then 6 months later $9 per pound.
She stopped when they got to double digits.
“Ill say it how I damn well want to say it.”
I wonder what you are talking about?
We have had 4 ‘ of rain in the last few days and it continues
We have had 4”’ of rain in the last few days and it continues
Eat more Possum. They do feel pain but who cares?
Costco here in Southern California offers a ready made bowl of salad made with it, similar to a pasta salad with green peppers and cucumber,etc. — expensive at $12 per lg serving bowl and good. But after doing that once, I’m all caught up with quinoa for life.
Ha! Few things in this world annoy me more than these vegetarians who who don't eat meat out of some religious duty to the environment. I've got a bunch of grand nieces and their effete husbands who worship at the altar of mother earth.
I would consider the use of ethanol in cars, burning about a third of our corn and a lot of sugar based ethanol, to be the greater sin. We’re exporting far less food, so global prices for all grains - including quinoa - are up.
With such a profit margin, there’s no need to destroy South American rainforests - grow it here! If it likes cold mountainous regions, somewhere in the Rockies should work.
The thing is moderation — it’s good to eat a lot of veggies, yes, but some meat is important for a balanced diet.
Vegans - let them eat kudzu.
Not only that but it turns out most people have difficulties with gluten. I stopped eating gluten 2.5 years ago and the smallest amount of wheat now would make me sick. It’s like a poison that most people keep taking. It causes leaky gut and that hurts our immune systems etc.
However, I do not eat quinoa. I try to stay away from grains, but when I do eat any it will be rice, tapioca, teff.
I’m with the bunny and the kitty.
Also from my own observation: Vegans have an eating disorder; we are carnivores and have the teeth to prove it. Often the vegan 20 something females pop synthetic hormone birth control pills yet by abstaining from meat, feel superior and healthier than the rest of us. Go figure ... liberals lack logic.
“..worship at the altar of mother earth...”
Yes - and soy is chemically similar to synthetic estrogen - it is NOT healthier than cows milk - no wonder we have an epidemic of confused/homosexual males - their mothers were giving them soy milk formula as babies/toddlers thinking they were being healthier and they were actually giving their sons an estrogenlike compound to ingest.
Liberals lack logic.
PS - I have similar sounding neices - at least my 20 something daughters did not jump on that bandwagon.
Stupid, harmful advice.
Mine probably did for a brief period in their late teens/early 20's. Thank God they outgrew it quickly when they met and finally married some real men, not those nancy pants my nieces keep bringing home. My sons never bought into it though.
This is a pretty normal cycle for any kind of fad food. Usually it’s cheap because it’s not desirable, then somebody makes it desirable, and it becomes popular, and then it’s expensive. Same thing happened with tri-tip steak, and tons of other things. Eventually either the fad ends or production increases to meet the new demands.
It’s very popular in the hipster set, as is vegetarianism, so there’s a big overlap.
Such imbalances always happen with new markets. The truth is, that Americans have a very limited selection of popular grains. Popular precisely because they are processed to taste better.
But the truth is there are a bunch of grains out there we *could* be eating, not as unpalatable as health nuts would eat them, but far tastier once they, too, are processed.
And it’s important to keep in mind that more grains mean a more and varied cuisine: more tasty stuff to eat. If all you ate was the food at McDonalds, at first food at Taco Bell would seem very exotic, but in short order you would appreciate the variation. It doesn’t mean you would stop eating at Mickey Dees.
Some alternative grains we should take more advantage of in the future:
1) Amaranth. It is a “pseudo-grain” like quinoa and buckwheat. It also has some ingredients, like Lysine, that are short in other grains, so it makes a good complement to them.
2) Barley. Great for beer, it doesn’t work so well for processing, but it is a great addition to stews and soups.
3) Buckwheat. Buckwheat is actually a fruit, but makes a tolerably good flour, and some varieties of buckwheat pancakes can be low carbohydrate.
4) Quinoa and Kañiwa. The former is making its way into the grocery store, and behaves somewhat like barley. They, along with Amaranth, were historical South American grains that supported empires.
5) Millet. Only a less popular type is grown in America, almost exclusively fed to animals, though different types are quite popular as a human food elsewhere. Its big advantage is that it grows in semi-arid regions with high temperatures, and has a short growing season. It is often blended with sorghum.
6) Oats. Definitely a common and pleasant grain that is seriously underused.
7) Rye. Not just for whiskey, it is a popular grain where it is cold and too wet for wheat. Still underused.
8) Sorghum. In the rest of the world, half of sorghum is consumed by people. In the US, almost all is used for animal fodder. Makes a good flour, and sorghum syrup is a good alternative to molasses.
9) Spelt. A now neglected sub-species of wheat that was harder to mechanically process, so went by the wayside. It is now regaining some popularity in Britain, tasting sort of like a lighter and sweeter variety of Rye, with a nutty flavor.
10) Teff. Pretty limited to Ethiopia, it has a lot of potential, especially with some selective breeding. It absorbs less common minerals from the ground, so makes a good complementary food. Somewhat like Quinoa, but with small seeds, so it cooks faster and with less fuel.
11) Wild rice. Actually not a rice, but a lake grass seed. It does make a good blend with other rices, though it is somewhat expensive compared to white rice.
12) Others. To include other, less common varieties of wheat and rice with different flavors and textures. While America produces almost exclusively long grain rice, short grain “sticky” rice is popular in Chinese restaurants. There is also medium grain rice, black “emperor” rice, and non-grain foods like chickpeas (hummus).
***..And then there’s pigweed seeds...***
I once brought in a load of cow manure for my garden. Soon I had a full crop of pigweed. After TEN YEARS I am still fighting the stuff.
DON’T GET IT STARTED IN YOUR GARDEN!
Just so you know your fact-based posts on any number of subjects are much appreciated. Is it all researched “pre-post” or just straight out of your brain? I expect its a little of both. Just curious. ;-)
Hitler was a vegan!
“Well, theres tasty Mississippian indian sumpweed yet to try.”
Couldn’t be any better than Georgia Kudzu.
You can get in on my stock plan now.
The production of wheat/barley/rye free pasta is getting better, and it's more available. The stuff is still expensive.
Here's my 'tastes like bread' recipe. Buy Mexican made (here or there) 6 inch tortillas which are constructed from WHITE CORN, not white corn flour or granules, but the whole kernels. Guerrero started moving that to market all over the country over the last year so you can count on it being out there.
With the slightest addition of capsaicin (in a barbeque sauce, a few crushed red seeds, maybe a curry) this stuff tastes exactly like bread ~ 'cause I still remember bread and this is the taste.
Remember, before doing anything with the small tortillas you must heat them. 35 seconds on high for 2 of them will give you one that can bear more cooking later ~ like after you make a burrito and toss that in the oven. 45 seconds on high for 2 of them can be used now like a soft taco shell. If you go a full minute it will stiffen up like a yellow corn taco shell, so stop it at 45 seconds, load it with goodies, then give it another 15 seconds. It should stiffen up to where you can handle it.
Another discovery ~ use goat cheese instead of a cow's milk based spread if you want to avoid heating it up enough to melt cheese.