The Global Trade Of Quinoa

1600 Words7 Pages
Quinoa is a commodity which has recently gained popularity on the global market. The grain is indigenous to the Andean region in South America, but is now consumed and grown across the globe. While cultural globalization is usually Western dominated, the transnational trade of quinoa is an exception to this notion. Its branding as a “natural, organic, and gluten-free” food has been beneficial as the healthy eating movement continues. Quinoa was only supplied by specialty retailers a few year ago, but now it can be found in most supermarkets and even fast food establishments like Panera Bread have menu items containing the Andean grain. The global demand for quinoa has led to international trade, global adoption of cultivating the crop, creation of new quinoa-based products, and increased competition among producers. The globalization of quinoa has also brought attention to how international movements affect people on a local scale and peaked attention about sustainable food practices and global justice. Quinoa has been a staple food of ancient Andean civilizations for centuries. Archaeological evidence dates the domestication of the crop to between 3000 and 5000 BCE. Quinoa was part of burial rituals in the Andean region. The grain had religious and cultural significance to members of Incan society. Incas referred to quinoa as “Mother Grain” or the “Grain of the Gods.” This religious importance was the initial reason why the Spanish conquistadors decided against trying to
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