Last updated

Chenopodium quinoa0.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Chenopodium
C. quinoa
Binomial name
Chenopodium quinoa
Quinoa Ursprung Verbreitung.png
Natural distribution in red, Cultivation in green
Synonyms [1]
Chenopodium quinoa near Cachilaya, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia Lanscape with Chenopodium quinoa Cachilaya Bolivia Lake Titicaca.JPG
Chenopodium quinoa near Cachilaya, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa; /ˈknwɑː/ or /kɪˈn.ə/ , from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) [2] is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. [3] Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), and originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America. [4] It was first used to feed livestock 5.2–7.0 thousand years ago, and for human consumption 3–4 thousand years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia. [5]


Today, almost all production in the Andean region is done by small farms and associations. Its cultivation has spread to more than 70 countries, including Kenya, India, the United States, and several European countries. [6] As a result of increased popularity and consumption in North America, Europe, and Australasia, quinoa crop prices tripled between 2006 and 2014. [7] [8]


Quinoa seeds QuinoaGrains.jpg
Quinoa seeds
Red quinoa, cooked Red quinoa.png
Red quinoa, cooked


Chenopodium quinoa is a dicotyledonous annual plant, usually about 1–2 m (3–7 ft) high. It has broad, generally powdery, hairy, lobed leaves, normally arranged alternately. The woody central stem is branched or unbranched depending on the variety and may be green, red or purple. The flowering panicles arise from the top of the plant or from leaf axils along the stem. Each panicle has a central axis from which a secondary axis emerges either with flowers (amaranthiform) or bearing a tertiary axis carrying the flowers (glomeruliform). [9] These are small, incomplete, sessile flowers of the same colour as the sepals, and both pistillate and perfect forms occur. Pistillate flowers are generally located at the proximal end of the glomeruli and the perfect ones at the distal end of it. A perfect flower has five sepals, five anthers and a superior ovary, from which two to three stigmatic branches emerge. [10]

The green hypogynous flowers have a simple perianth and are generally self-fertilizing [9] [11] though cross-pollination occurs. [12] Furthermore, in the natural environment, betalains serve to attract animals to generate a greater rate of pollination and ensure, or improve, seed dissemination. [13] The fruits (seeds) are about 2 mm (116 in) in diameter and of various colors — from white to red or black, depending on the cultivar. [14]

In regards to the "newly" developed salinity resistance of C. quinoa, some studies have concluded that accumulation of organic osmolytes plays a dual role for the species. They provide osmotic adjustment, in addition to protection against oxidative stress of the photosynthetic structures in developing leaves. Studies also suggested that reduction in stomatal density in reaction to salinity levels represents an essential instrument of defence to optimize water use efficiency under the given conditions to which it may be exposed. [15]

Natural distribution

Chenopodium quinoa is believed to have been domesticated in the Peruvian Andes from wild or weed populations of the same species. [16] There are non-cultivated quinoa plants (Chenopodium quinoa var. melanospermum) that grow in the area it is cultivated; these may either be related to wild predecessors, or they could be descendants of cultivated plants. [17]

Saponins and oxalic acid

In their natural state, the seeds have a coating that contains bitter-tasting saponins, making them unpalatable. [9] [18] Most of the grain sold commercially has been processed to remove this coating. This bitterness has beneficial effects during cultivation, as it deters birds and therefore, the plant requires minimal protection. [19] The genetic control of bitterness involves quantitative inheritance. [18] Although lowering the saponin content through selective breeding to produce sweeter, more palatable varieties is complicated by ≈10% cross-pollination, [20] it is a major goal of quinoa breeding programs, which may include genetic engineering. [18]

The toxicity category rating of the saponins in quinoa treats them as mild eye and respiratory irritants and as a low gastrointestinal irritant. [21] [22] In South America, these saponins have many uses, including as a detergent for clothing and washing, and as a folk medicine antiseptic for skin injuries. [21]

Additionally, the leaves and stems of all species of the genus Chenopodium and related genera of the family Amaranthaceae contain high levels of oxalic acid. [23] The risks associated with quinoa are minimal, provided those parts are properly prepared and the leaves are not eaten to excess.[ citation needed ]

Nutritional value

Quinoa, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,539 kJ (368 kcal)
64.2 g
Dietary fibre 7.0 g
6.1 g
Monounsaturated 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated 3.3 g
14.1 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Vitamin A equiv.
1 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.36 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.32 mg
Niacin (B3)
1.52 mg
Vitamin B6
0.49 mg
Folate (B9)
184 μg
70 mg
Vitamin C
0 mg
Vitamin E
2.4 mg
Minerals Quantity%DV
47 mg
0.590 mg
4.6 mg
197 mg
2.0 mg
457 mg
563 mg
5 mg
3.1 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water13.3 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central
Quinoa, cooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 503 kJ (120 kcal)
21.3 g
Dietary fibre 2.8 g
1.92 g
Monounsaturated 0.529 g
Polyunsaturated 1.078 g
4.4 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Vitamin A equiv.
0 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.107 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.11 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.412 mg
Vitamin B6
0.123 mg
Folate (B9)
42 μg
23 mg
Vitamin C
0 mg
Vitamin E
0.63 mg
Minerals Quantity%DV
17 mg
0.192 mg
1.49 mg
64 mg
0.631 mg
152 mg
172 mg
7 mg
1.09 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water72 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

Raw, uncooked quinoa is 13% water, 64% carbohydrates, 14% protein, and 6% fat. Nutritional evaluations indicate that a 100-gram (3+12-ounce) serving of raw quinoa seeds is a rich source (20% or higher of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, including 46% DV for folate, and the dietary minerals magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.

After boiling, which is the typical preparation for eating the seeds, quinoa is 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 2% fat. [21] In a 100 g (3+12 oz) serving, cooked quinoa provides 503 kilojoules (120 kilocalories) of food energy and is a rich source of manganese and phosphorus (30% and 22% DV, respectively), and a moderate source (10–19% DV) of dietary fiber, folate, and the dietary minerals iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Quinoa is gluten-free. [3] Because of the high concentration of protein, ease of use, versatility in preparation, and potential for increased yields in controlled environments, [24] it has been selected as an experimental crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied space flights. [25]


Climate requirements

The plant's growth is highly variable due to the number of different subspecies, varieties and landraces (domesticated plants or animals adapted to the environment in which they originated). However, it is generally undemanding and altitude-hardy; it is grown from coastal regions to over 4,000 m (13,000 ft) in the Andes near the equator, with most of the cultivars being grown between 2,500 m (8,200 ft) and 4,000 m (13,000 ft). Depending on the variety, optimal growing conditions are in cool climates with temperatures that vary between −4 °C (25 °F) during the night to near 35 °C (95 °F) during the day. Some cultivars can withstand lower temperatures without damage. Light frosts normally do not affect the plants at any stage of development, except during flowering. Midsummer frosts during flowering, a frequent occurrence in the Andes, lead to sterilization of the pollen. Rainfall requirements are highly variable between the different cultivars, ranging from 300 to 1,000 mm (12 to 39 in) during the growing season. Growth is optimal with well-distributed rainfall during early growth and no rain during seed maturation and harvesting. [9]

United States

Quinoa has been cultivated in the United States, primarily in the high elevation San Luis Valley of Colorado where it was introduced in 1983. [26] In this high-altitude desert valley, maximum summer temperatures rarely exceed 30 °C (86 °F) and night temperatures are about 7 °C (45 °F). In the 2010s, experimental production was attempted in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington, [27] and farmers in Western Washington began producing the crop. The Washington State University Skagit River Valley research facility near Mount Vernon grew thousands of its own experimental varieties. [28] According to a research agronomist, the Puget Sound region's climate is similar to that of coastal Chile where the crop has been grown for centuries. [29] Due to the short growing season, North American cultivation requires short-maturity varieties, typically of Bolivian origin. Quinoa is planted in Idaho where a variety developed and bred specifically for the high-altitude Snake River Plain is the largest planted variety in North America. [30]


Several countries within Europe have successfully grown quinoa on a commercial scale. [31]


Quinoa plants do best in sandy, well-drained soils with a low nutrient content, moderate salinity, and a soil pH of 6 to 8.5. The seedbed must be well prepared and drained to avoid waterlogging. [19]

Soil and pests

Quinoa has gained attention for its adaptability to contrasting environments such as saline soils, nutrient-poor soils and drought stressed marginal agroecosystems. [32] Yields are maximised when 170–200 kg/ha (150–180 lb/acre) of nitrogen is available.[ citation needed ] The addition of phosphorus does not improve yield. In eastern North America, it is susceptible to a leaf miner that may reduce crop success. (The miner also affects the common weed and close relative Chenopodium album , but C. album is much more resistant.)[ citation needed ]


The genome of quinoa was sequenced in 2017 by researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. [18] [33] Through traditional selective breeding and, potentially, genetic engineering, the plant is being modified to have higher crop yield, improved tolerance to heat and biotic stress, and greater sweetness through saponin inhibition. [18]


Traditionally, quinoa grain is harvested by hand, and only rarely by machine, because the extreme variability of the maturity period of most quinoa cultivars complicates mechanization. Harvest needs to be precisely timed to avoid high seed losses from shattering, and different panicles on the same plant mature at different times. [34] [35] The crop yield in the Andean region (often around 3 t/ha up to 5 t/ha) is comparable to wheat yields. In the United States, varieties have been selected for uniformity of maturity and are mechanically harvested using conventional small grain combines.[ citation needed ]


The plants are allowed to stand until the stalks and seeds have dried out and the grain has reached a moisture content below 10%. Handling involves threshing the seedheads from the chaff and winnowing the seed to remove the husk. Before storage, the seeds need to be dried in order to avoid germination. [9] Dry seeds can be stored raw until being washed or mechanically processed to remove the pericarp to eliminate the bitter layer containing saponins. The seeds must be dried again before being stored and sold in stores.[ citation needed ]

Quinoa production – 2019
Flag of Peru.svg  Peru 89,775
Flag of Bolivia.svg  Bolivia 67,135
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 4,505
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations [36]


In 2019, world production of quinoa was 161,415 tonnes, led by Peru and Bolivia with 99% of the total when combined (table). [36]


Since the early 21st century when quinoa became more commonly consumed in North America, Europe, and Australasia where it was not typically grown, the crop value increased. [37] Between 2006 and 2013, quinoa crop prices tripled. [7] [8] In 2011, the average price was US $3,115 per tonne with some varieties selling as high as $8,000 per tonne. [37] This compares with wheat prices of about US $340 per tonne, making wheat about 10% of the value of quinoa. The resulting effect on traditional production regions in Peru and Bolivia also influenced new commercial quinoa production elsewhere in the world, such as the United States. [38] :176 [39] By 2013, quinoa was being cultivated in some 70 countries. [6] As a result of expanding production outside the Andean highlands native for quinoa, the price plummeted starting in early 2015 and remained low for years. [40] From 2018 to 2019, quinoa production in Peru declined by 22%. [36] Some refer to this as the "quinoa bust" because of the devastation the price fall caused for farmers and industry. [40]

Effects of rising demand on growers

Farmer field school on crop husbandry and quinoa production, near Puno, Peru Peru Chenopodium quinoa.jpg
Farmer field school on crop husbandry and quinoa production, near Puno, Peru

Rising quinoa prices over the period 2006 to 2017 may have reduced affordability of traditional consumers to consume quinoa. [8] [41] [38] :176–77 However, a 2016 study using Peru's Encuesta Nacional de Hogares found that rising quinoa prices during 2004–2013 led to net economic benefits for producers, [42] and other commentary indicated similar conclusions, [43] including for women specifically. [44] Impacts of the price surge on quinoa consumption in the Andes mainly affected urban poor rather than farmers themselves, and these impacts were reduced when the price fell in 2015.[ citation needed ] It has also been suggested that as quinoa producers rise above subsistence-level income, they switch their own consumption to Western processed foods which are often less healthy than a traditional, quinoa-based diet, whether because quinoa is held to be worth too much to keep for oneself and one's family, or because processed foods have higher status despite their poorer nutritional value. [8] [41] [38] :176–77 Efforts are being made in some areas to distribute quinoa more widely and ensure that farming and poorer populations have access to it and have an understanding of its nutritional importance, including use in free school breakfasts and government provisions distributed to pregnant and nursing women in need. [41]

In terms of wider social consequences, research on traditional producers in Bolivia has emphasised a complex picture. The degree to which individual producers benefit from the global quinoa boom depends on its mode of production, for example through producer associations and co-operatives such as the Asociación Nacional de Productores de Quinua (founded in the 1970s), contracting through vertically-integrated private firms, or wage labor. [45] State regulation and enforcement may promote a shift to cash-cropping among some farmers and a shift toward subsistence production among others, while enabling many urban refugees to return to working the land, outcomes with complex and varied social effects. [46] [47]

The growth of quinoa consumption in nonindigenous regions has raised concerns over food security, such as unsustainably intensive farming of the crop, expansion of farming into ecologically fragile ecosystems, threatening both the sustainability of producer agriculture and the biodiversity of quinoa. [38] [48] [44]

World demand for quinoa is sometimes presented in the media particularly as being caused by rising veganism, [8] [49] but academic commentary has noted that promoting meat consumption as an ethical alternative to eating quinoa is generally inconsistent with achieving a sustainable world food supply. [38] :177


United Nations recognition

Logo of the International Year of Quinoa, 2013 Official Logo for the International Year of Quinoa.jpg
Logo of the International Year of Quinoa, 2013

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the "International Year of Quinoa" [50] [51] [52] in recognition of the ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved it as a food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature. The objective was to draw the world’s attention to the role that quinoa could play in providing food security, nutrition and poverty eradication in support of achieving Millennium Development Goals. Some academic commentary emphasized that quinoa production could have ecological and social drawbacks in its native regions, and that these problems needed to be tackled. [38]

Kosher certification

Quinoa is used in the Jewish community as a substitute for the leavened grains that are forbidden during the Passover holiday. Several kosher certification organizations refuse to certify it as being kosher for Passover, citing reasons including its resemblance to prohibited grains or fear of cross-contamination of the product from nearby fields of prohibited grain or during packaging. [53] However, in December 2013 the Orthodox Union, the world's largest kosher certification agency, announced it would begin certifying quinoa as kosher for Passover. [54]


Quinoa seller at market in Calca, Peru Calca Peru- Quinoa seller at mercado II.jpg
Quinoa seller at market in Calca, Peru

Quinoa is an allotetraploid plant for what, according to the studies done in 1979, it has as the presumed ancestor either Chenopodium berlandieri , from North America, or the Andean species Chenopodium hircinum, although more recent studies, in 2011, even suggest Old World relatives. On the other hand, morphological features relate C. quinoa of the Andes and Chenopodium nuttalliae of Mexico. Some studies have suggested that both species may have been derived from the same wild type. A weedy quinoa, C. quinoa var. melanospermum, is known from South America, but no equivalent closely related to C. nutalliae has been reported from Mexico so far. [55]

In any case, over the last 5,000 years the biogeography of Chenopodium quinua [Willd.] has changed greatly, mainly by human influence, convenience and preference. It has changed not only in the area of distribution, but also in regards to the environment this plant used to be able to flourish in, in contrast to the habitats on which it is able to do it now. In a process started by a number of South American indigenous cultures, people have been adapting quinoa to salinity and other forms of stress over the last 3,000 years. Particularly for the high variety of Chilean landraces, in addition to how the plant has adapted to different latitudes, this crop is now potentially cultivable almost anywhere in the world, including Europe, Asia and Africa. [55]

When Amaranthaceae became abundant in Lake Pacucha, Peru, the lake was fresh, and the lack of it during the droughts strongly indicates how the taxa was not saltmarsh. Based on the pollen associated with soil manipulation, this is an area of the Andes where domestication of C. quinoa became popular, although it was not the only one. It was domesticated in various geographical zones. With this, morphological adaptations began to happen until having five ecotypes today. Quinoa's genetic diversity illustrates that it was and is a vital crop. [56] In fact, during the last interglacial lowstands, pollen accumulations from Lake Titicaca, located between Peru and Bolivia, were dominated by Amaranthaceae. [57]

Nevertheless, studies regarding genetic diversity suggest that it may have passed through at least three bottleneck genetic events, with a possible fourth expected:

Andean agronomists and nutrition scientists began researching quinoa in the early twentieth century, and it became the subject of much interest among researchers involved in Neglected and Under-utilized Species studies in the 1970s. [58] The grain, however, has received much less attention than crops like maize or wheat.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Oxalis tuberosa</i> Species of plant

Oxalis tuberosa is a perennial herbaceous plant that overwinters as underground stem tubers. These tubers are known as uqa in Quechua, oca in Spanish, yam in New Zealand and a number of other alternative names. The plant was brought into cultivation in the central and southern Andes for its tubers, which are used as a root vegetable. The plant is not known in the wild, but populations of wild Oxalis species that bear smaller tubers are known from four areas of the central Andean region. Oca was introduced to Europe in 1830 as a competitor to the potato, and to New Zealand as early as 1860.

<i>Salvia hispanica</i> Species of flowering plant in the mint and sage family Lamiaceae

Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It is considered a pseudocereal, cultivated for its edible, hydrophilic chia seed, grown and commonly used as food in several countries of western South America, western Mexico, and the southwestern United States.

<i>Chenopodium album</i> Species of flowering plant in the goosefoot family Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium album is a fast-growing weedy annual plant in the genus Chenopodium. Though cultivated in some regions, the plant is elsewhere considered a weed. Common names include lamb's quarters, melde, goosefoot, manure weed, wild spinach and fat-hen, though the latter two are also applied to other species of the genus Chenopodium, for which reason it is often distinguished as white goosefoot. Chenopodium album is extensively cultivated and consumed in Northern India as a food crop known as bathua.

<i>Ullucus</i> Species of plant

Ullucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Basellaceae, with one species, Ullucus tuberosus, a plant grown primarily as a root vegetable, secondarily as a leaf vegetable. The name ulluco is derived from the Quechua word ulluku, but depending on the region, it has many different names. These include illaco, melloco, chungua or ruba, olluco or papa lisa, or ulluma.

<i>Chenopodium pallidicaule</i> Species of plant

Chenopodium pallidicaule, known as cañihua, canihua or cañahua and also kaniwa, is a species of goosefoot, similar in character and uses to the closely related quinoa(Chenopodium quinoa).

<i>Lupinus mutabilis</i> Species of plant

Lupinus mutabilis is a species of lupin grown in the Andes, mainly for its edible bean. Vernacular names include tarwi(tarhui), chocho, altramuz, Andean lupin, South American lupin, Peruvian field lupin, and pearl lupin. Its nutrient-rich seeds are high in protein, as well as a good source for cooking oil. However, their bitter taste has made L. mutabilis relatively unknown outside the Andes, though modern technology makes it easier to remove the bitter alkaloids. Like other species of lupin beans, it is expanding in use as a plant-based protein source.

Chiripa culture

The Chiripa culture existed between the Initial Period/Early Horizon, from 1400 to 850 BCE along the southern shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

Quinoa oil is a vegetable oil extracted from germ of the Chenopodium quinoa, an Andean cereal and has been cultivated since at least 3000 B.C. Quinoa itself has attracted considerable interest as a source of protein, but the oil derived from quinoa is of interest in its own right. Quinoa oil is most similar to corn oil, and is rich in essential fatty acids, linoleic being predominant. Although, quinoa oil contains more essential fatty acids than corn oil. Quinoa yields an average of 5.8% oil by weight, compared to 3-4% for corn (maize), which means it could potentially be used to produce more oil than an amount of corn of the same weight.

<i>Chenopodium berlandieri</i> Species of flowering plant

Chenopodium berlandieri, also known by the common names pitseed goosefoot, huauzontle, lamb's quarters, and lambsquarters is an annual herbaceous plant in the family Amaranthaceae.

Sajama National Park

Sajama National Park is a national park located in the Oruro Department, Bolivia. It borders Lauca National Park in Chile. The park is home to the indigenous Aymara people, whose influential ancient culture can be seen in various aspects throughout the park. The park hosts many cultural and ecological sites, and is a hub of ecotourism. Many different indigenous plants and animals are exclusive to this area; therefore its continued conservation is of great ecological importance. Management of the park operates under a co-administrative approach, with local people and park conservationists engaging in a constant dialogue regarding park upkeep and policy.

Inca cuisine

Inca cuisine originated in pre-Columbian times within the Inca civilization from the 13th to the 16th century. The Inca civilization stretched across many regions, and so there was a great diversity of plants and animals used for food, many of which remain unknown outside Peru. The most important staples were various tubers, roots, and grains. Maize was of high prestige, but could not be grown as extensively as it was further north. The most common sources of meat were guinea pigs and llamas, and dried fish was common.

Incan agriculture Agriculture by the Inca Empire

Incan agriculture was the culmination of thousands of years of farming and herding in the high-elevation Andes mountains of South America, the coastal deserts, and the rainforests of the Amazon basin. These three radically different environments were all part of the Inca Empire and required different technologies for agriculture. Inca agriculture was also characterized by the variety of crops grown, the lack of a market system and money, and the unique mechanisms by which the Incas organized their society. Andean civilization was "pristine"—one of five civilizations worldwide which were indigenous and not derivative from other civilizations. Most Andean crops and domestic animals were likewise pristine—not known to other civilizations. Potatoes and quinoa were among the unique crops; Camelids and guinea pigs were the unique domesticated animals.

The Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) funds participatory, collaborative research on agroecological intensification (AEI). Funded projects typically link international, national, and local organizations with communities of smallholder farmers, researchers, development professionals, and other parties. Projects work together as part of a Community of Practice to generate technical and social innovations to improve nutrition, livelihoods, and productivity for farming communities in Africa and South America. Large-scale impact is realized when new ideas, technologies, or processes are adapted, when insights from research catalyze change in policy and practice, and when innovation inspires further success. The program is under the direction of Rebecca J. Nelson of Cornell University and Jane Maland Cady of the McKnight Foundation.

Deficit irrigation (DI) is a watering strategy that can be applied by different types of irrigation application methods. The correct application of DI requires thorough understanding of the yield response to water and of the economic impact of reductions in harvest. In regions where water resources are restrictive it can be more profitable for a farmer to maximize crop water productivity instead of maximizing the harvest per unit land. The saved water can be used for other purposes or to irrigate extra units of land. DI is sometimes referred to as incomplete supplemental irrigation or regulated DI.

<i>Chenopodium giganteum</i> Species of flowering plant

Chenopodium giganteum, also known as tree spinach, is an annual, upright many-branched shrub with a stem diameter of up to 5 cm at the base, that can grow to a height of up to 3 m.

Grain Edible dry seed

A grain is a small, hard, dry seed - with or without an attached hull or fruit layer - harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.

There are many types of food trends and fads, not only including weight loss or diets. Recent interest in health foods such as quinoa and soy beans have cause prices to skyrocket and production to vastly increase. This affects the communities in which these foods are grown or produced, and also has environmental impacts. Each food that suddenly has a popularity spike affects those who produce it and the area it comes from.

Food sovereignty is a highly influential idea in Bolivian political discourse. It is incorporated into multiple pieces of Bolivian legislation, including the 2009 constitution drafted underneath president Evo Morales. Food sovereignty fits into Morales' larger goal of the symbolic decolonization of Bolivia. First coined by indigenous and peasant worker advocacy organization Via Campesina, food sovereignty is the right for a state's people to produce and distribute culturally appropriate foods without the impingement of economic pressures created by foreign agribusiness producers. The presence of foreign agribusiness in Bolivia can be traced back to exploitative resource extraction that proliferated in South America with 19th century liberalism. Modern-day wholesale agribusiness production makes competition difficult for Bolivia's small-scale farmers, who often take out high-interest loans and consequently accumulate debt.

Staple food food that is eaten routinely and considered a dominant portion of a standard diet

A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food that is eaten routinely and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard diet for a given person, supplying a large fraction of energy needs and generally forming a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients as well. A staple food of a specific society may be eaten as often as every day or every meal, and most people live on a diet based on just a small number of food staples. Specific staples vary from place to place, but typically are inexpensive or readily available foods that supply one or more of the macronutrients needed for survival and health: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Typical examples include tubers and roots, grains, legumes, and seeds. Among them, cereals, legumes, tubers and roots account for about 90% of the world's food calories intake.

Andean agriculture

Current agricultural practices of the Andean region of South America typically involve a synthesis of traditional Incan practices and modern techniques to deal with the unique terrain and climatic elements of the area. Millions of farmers in economically impoverished communities make a living producing staple crops such as potato, olluco, and mashua for their own consumption as well as profit in local and urban markets. The Andean region is particularly known for its wide variety of potato species, boasting over about 5,000 varieties identified by the International Potato Center based in Peru. These crops are arranged within the mountains and plateaus of the Andes in four distinct landscape-based units described as Hill, Ox Area, Early Planting, and Valley which overlap one another in a patchwork-styles of plateau surfaces, steep slopes, and wetland patches. Within each of these units, farmers classify soil types as either puna, suni.


  1. "The Plant List: A working list of all plant species" . Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  2. Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  3. 1 2 "Quinoa: An ancient crop to contribute to world food security" (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization. United Nations. July 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. Fuentes, F.F.; Martínez, E.A.; Hinrischen, P.V.; Jellen, E.N.; Maughan, P.J. (10 May 2008). "Assessment of genetic diversity patterns in Chilean quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) germplasm using multiplex fluorescent microsatellite" (PDF). Conservation Genetics. 10 (2): 369–377. doi:10.1007/s10592-008-9604-3. hdl:10533/128026. S2CID   39564604 . Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  5. Kolata, Alan L. (2009). Quinoa: Production, Consumption and Social Value in Historical Context (PDF). Department of Anthropology (Report). The University of Chicago.
  6. 1 2 "Distribution and production". Food and Agriculture Organization. United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  7. 1 2 "Quinoa". Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Grains & oilseeds. U.S. Department of Agriculture. November 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Blythman, Joanna (16 January 2013). "Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 The Lost Crops of the Incas: Little-known plants of the Andes with promise for worldwide cultivation. Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, National Academies. U.S. National Research Council. 1989. p. 149.
  10. Bertero, Daniel; Medan, Diego; Hall, A.J. (1 September 1996). "Changes in apical morphology during floral initiation and reproductive development in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.)". Annals of Botany. 78 (3): 317–324. doi: 10.1006/anbo.1996.0126 . ISSN   0305-7364.
  11. Lieberei, Reinhard; Reissdorff, Christoph & Franke, Wolfgang (2007). Nutzpflanzenkunde. Georg Thieme Verlag. ISBN   978-3135304076.
  12. Robinson, R. (1986). Amaranth, Quinoa, Ragi, Tef, and Niger. University of Minnesota.
  13. Colour Additives for Foods and Beverages (1st ed.). Elsevier. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  14. Vaughn, J.G.; Geissler, C.A. (2009). The New Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0199549467.
  15. Shabala, Lana; Mackay, Alex; Tian, Yu; Jacobsen, Sven-Erik; Zhou, Daowei; Shabala, Sergey (September 2012). "Oxidative stress protection and stomatal patterning as components of salinity tolerance mechanism in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa)". Physiologia Plantarum. 146 (1): 26–38. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2012.01599.x. ISSN   1399-3054. PMID   22324972.
  16. Pickersgill, Barbara (31 August 2007). "Domestication of plants in the Americas: Insights from Mendelian and molecular genetics". Annals of Botany. 100 (5): 925–940. doi:10.1093/aob/mcm193. PMC   2759216 . PMID   17766847. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007.
  17. Heiser, Charles B. Jr. & Nelson, David C. (September 1974). "On the origin of the cultivated Chenopods (Chenopodium)". Genetics. 78 (1): 503–505. doi:10.1093/genetics/78.1.503. PMC   1213209 . PMID   4442716.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 Jarvis, David E.; Ho, Yung Shwen; Lightfoot, Damien J.; Schmöckel, Sandra M.; Li, Bo; Borm, Theo J.A.; Ohyanagi, Hajime; Mineta, Katsuhiko; Michell, Craig T. (8 February 2017). "The genome of Chenopodium quinoa". Nature (advance online publication). 542 (7641): 307–312. Bibcode:2017Natur.542..307J. doi: 10.1038/nature21370 . ISSN   1476-4687. PMID   28178233.
  19. 1 2 "Quinoa". Alternative Field Crops Manual. University of Wisconsin Extension and University of Minnesota. 20 January 2000.
  20. Masterbroek, H.D.; Limburg, H.; Gilles, T.; Marvin, H.J. (2000). "Occurrence of sapogenins in leaves and seeds of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.)". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 80: 152–156. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(20000101)80:1<152::AID-JSFA503>3.0.CO;2-P.
  21. 1 2 3 Johnson DL, Ward SM (1993). "Quinoa". Department of Horticulture, Purdue University; obtained from Johnson, D.L. and S.M. Ward. 1993. Quinoa. p. 219-221. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, New York. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  22. "Biopesticides Registration Action Document: Saponins of Chenopodium quinoa" (PDF). Environmental Protection Agency. 2009.
  23. Siener, Roswitha; Honow, Ruth; Seidler, Ana; Voss, Susanne; Hesse, Albrecht (2006). "Oxalate contents of species of the Polygonaceae, Amaranthaceae, and Chenopodiaceae families". Food Chemistry. 98 (2): 220–224. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.05.059.
  24. Abugoch, James L. E. (2009). Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): Composition, chemistry, nutritional, and functional properties. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research (review). 58. pp. 1–31. doi:10.1016/S1043-4526(09)58001-1. ISBN   9780123744418. PMID   19878856.
  25. Greg Schlick & David L. Bubenheim (November 1993). "Quinoa: An Emerging "New" Crop with Potential for CELSS" (PDF). NASA Technical Paper 3422. NASA.
  26. LeFrancois-Hanson, Zoe (19 February 2016). "Growing Quinoa in Colorado: An interview with Paul New, White Mountain Farm". Local Food Shift. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  27. Kara Mcmurray (3 May 2014). "Quinoa seed of change for Palouse farmers". The Spokesman-Review . Spokane.
  28. Julia-Grace Sanders (23 October 2018). "Growing quinoa in Skagit County". Skagit Valley Herald . Burlington, Washington.
  29. Rebekah Denn (2 August 2016). "Quinoa comes to the Northwest". The Seattle Times.
  30. Dianna Troyer (3 October 2019). "Western Innovator: Processor pioneers quinoa production". Capital Press. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  31. "European Quinoa Group". www.quinoaeurope.eu. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2015.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  32. Hinojosa, Leonardo; González, Juan; Barrios-Masias, Felipe; Fuentes, Francisco; Murphy, Kevin; Hinojosa, Leonardo; González, Juan A.; Barrios-Masias, Felipe H.; Fuentes, Francisco (November 2018). "Quinoa Abiotic Stress Responses: A Review". Plants. 7 (4): 106. doi:10.3390/plants7040106. PMC   6313892 . PMID   30501077.
  33. McGrath, Matt (8 February 2017). "Quinoa genome could see 'super-food' prices tumble". BBC News. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  34. "How to Harvest Quinoa". homeguides.sfgate.com. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  35. "Bet You Had No Idea What Quinoa Looks Like When It Grows". HuffPost. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  36. 1 2 3 "Quinoa production in 2019, Crops/Regions/World list/Production Quantity (pick lists)". UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT). 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  37. 1 2 Collyns, Dan (14 January 2013). "Quinoa brings riches to the Andes". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  38. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Small, Ernest (2013). "Quinoa – is the United Nations' featured crop of 2013 bad for biodiversity?". Biodiversity. 14 (3): 169–179. doi:10.1080/14888386.2013.835551. S2CID   128872124.
  39. Alastair Bland (29 November 2012). "Quinoa Craze Inspires North America To Start Growing Its Own". NPR. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  40. 1 2 Emma McDonell (12 March 2018). "The Quinoa Boom Goes Bust in the Andes". North American Congress on Latin America. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  41. 1 2 3 Tom Philpott. "Quinoa: Good, Evil, or Just Really Complicated?". Mother Jones. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  42. Marc F. Bellemare, Johanna Fajardo-Gonzalez and Seth R. Gitter, 'Foods and Fads: The Welfare Impacts of Rising Quinoa Prices in Peru', Towson University Department of Economics Working Paper Series Working Paper No. 2016-06 (March 2016), http://webapps.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2016-06.pdf.
  43. Allison Aubrey (7 June 2013). "Your Love Of Quinoa Is Good News For Andean Farmers". NPR. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  44. 1 2 Alexander Kasterine (17 July 2016). "Quinoa isn't a threat to food security. It's improving Peruvian farmers' lives". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  45. Ofstehage, Andrew (2012). "The construction of an alternative quinoa economy: balancing solidarity, household needs, and profit in San Agustín, Bolivia". Agriculture and Human Values. 29 (4): 441–454. doi:10.1007/s10460-012-9371-0. S2CID   154918412.
  46. Kerssen, Tanya M. (2015). "Food sovereignty and the quinoa boom: challenges to sustainable re-peasantisation in the southern Altiplano of Bolivia". Third World Quarterly. 36 (3): 489–507. doi:10.1080/01436597.2015.1002992. S2CID   153909114.
  47. Dan Collyns (14 January 2013). "Quinoa brings riches to the Andes". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  48. Jacobsen, S.-E. (2011). "The Situation for Quinoa and Its Production in Southern Bolivia: From Economic Success to Environmental Disaster". Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 197 (5): 390–99. doi:10.1111/j.1439-037X.2011.00475.x.
  49. Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin (8 January 2018). "Sanctimonious vegans would do well to think about their diet's global impact".
  50. United Nations (2012). Resolution adopted by the General Assembly (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2013.
  51. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2013). International Year of Quinoa.
  52. "International Years". United Nations. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  53. Hopper, Tristin (25 March 2013). "Jews divided by great Passover debate: Is quinoa kosher?". National Post . Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  54. Nemes, Hody (23 December 2013). "Quinoa Ruled Kosher for Passover". Forward. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  55. 1 2 3 Bazile, Didier; Martínez, Enrique A.; Fuentes, Francisco (2 December 2014). "Diversity of quinoa in a biogeographical island: A review of constraints and potential from arid to temperate regions of Chile". Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca. 42 (2): 289–298. doi:10.15835/nbha4229733 (inactive 31 May 2021). ISSN   1842-4309.CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of May 2021 (link)
  56. Murphy, Kevin S.; Matanguihan, Janet (28 September 2015). Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN   978-1-118-62805-8.
  57. Valencia, B.G.; Urrego, D.H.; Silman, M.R.; Bush, M.B. (2010). "From ice age to modern: A record of landscape change in an Andean cloud forest". Journal of Biogeography. 37 (9): 1637–1647. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02318.x. ISSN   1365-2699.
  58. Wilk, Richard; McDonell, Emma (2020). Critical Approaches to Superfoods. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. ISBN   978-1-350-12387-8. OCLC   1204141540.

Further reading