cutlerish said: Also, quinoa is a staple food in a lot of poorer areas that now have to deal with first-world demand driving costs up.
» SFB says: This is a definite thing that’s floated around in recent months for good reason, but the Wonkblog post we linked to makes a good rebuttal point to this—that the high costs of the grain have been offset to a degree by quality-of-life increases:
The South American quinoa industry, and the importers who care about it, are worried about the coming worldwide explosion of their native crop. Despite a bubble of media coverage earlier this year about how strong demand is making it difficult for Bolivians to afford to eat what they grow, it’s also boosted incomes from about $35 per family per month to about $220, boosting their standards of living dramatically. Now, the worry is maintaining a steady income level when production takes off around the world.
Essentially, there’s major concern that the crop is going to get planted around the world, which could take this advantage away from Bolivians and Peruvians that have grown the crop. — Ernie @ SFB