Colonization and gentrification are directly related to the appropriation of food. We also need to begin educating ourselves on issues and event that impact the communities that we’re drawing our meals from.As Sarah Hoyt quips, "We all live in an Onion world." Confirmation here, if you can stomach it.
There is a serious point the guide misses, though. Apparently quinoa is now an export crop for Bolivia. In the world of the Perpetually Aggrieved, that's an unforgivable appropriation.
What all of this adds up to is a massive PR campaign aimed at rebranding collard greens, divorcing the vegetable from its working class and indigenous affiliations to place it squarely within the culinary crosshairs of the same massive gourmet health food apparatus that turned acai berries, quinoa, tofu, and chia seeds into “superfoods.” Though the health benefits of such foods are well-documented, their trendiness within majority populations tends to result in a generally unhealthy outcomes for their cultures of origin.Economic growth brings tradeoffs. But to prohibit trade simply consigns everyone to the status quo, as this New York Times passage spells out.
Agricultural leaders claim that rising exports of the plant have lifted living standards there and in other quinoa-growing areas.Where, dear reader, might the Bolivian government be raising the revenues to fund those "aggressive social welfare programs?"
“Before quinoa was at the price it is now, people went to Argentina and Chile to work,” said Miguel Choque Llanos, commercial director of the National Association of Quinoa Producers. Now, he said, rising quinoa prices have also encouraged city dwellers to return to their plots in the countryside during planting and harvest seasons.
Yet there are causes for concern. While malnutrition on a national level has fallen over the past few years thanks to aggressive social welfare programs, Ms. Cabrerizo, the nutritionist, said studies showed that chronic malnutrition in children had climbed in quinoa-growing areas, including Salinas de Garcí Mendoza, in recent years.
In Salinas de Garcí Mendoza and elsewhere, part of this change is due to climbing quinoa prices and more quinoa being destined for export.
And why, dear reader, have we seen the emergence of new middle classes in parts of the world that used to be desperately poor?