Quinoa is totally the little grain that could. It's so popular that the United Nations decided 2013 was International Year of Quinoa. It has also inspired the name for everyone's ideal daughter. But unfortunately for the yuppie masses that have found a way to shop exclusively at Whole Foods, quinoa is not going to get any cheaper, or any easier to find, anytime soon.
A "low-calorie, gluten-free, high-protein grain that tastes great" (thanks Washington Post), right now, quinoa is grown primarily in the Andes Mountains. But because of the quinoa boom that's coming primarily from the United States, growers there haven't been able to keep up with the demand from health-conscious yoga-loving freaks and prices have gotten pretty ridiculous; reportedly between $4.50 and $8 a pound in stores.
Quinoa actually used to be produced in America, but apparently, Andeans liked having the monopoly and pressured the United States to stop growing it, so of course, this country returned to corn, the ever-healthy grain that's actually taken over the planet. The grain has even caused drama amongst Bolivians, who produce almost half of all the quinoa in the world; earlier this year, growers got into fights because some new Bolivian quinoa farmers were planting it "in pastures where llamas traditionally graze," reported the Associated Press, and also not treating that soil right.
The Post says the quinoa demand will eventually balance out with its supply as growers see that it's a trend that's not going away, which will certainly be good news to the friends of this author, who continue to feed the grain to them at every opportunity, not realizing that she thinks it's fine and all but really, is it appropriate to use it as a major part of every single nice dinner we attend? It's basically a fancy version of rice.
Image via Juan Karita/AP