View Full Version : Here’s Why You Should Think Twice About Buying Cheap Quinoa

12-02-14, 12:22 AM
Kristina Bravo
November 29, 2014

Inexpensive, factory-farmed, pesticide-laced quinoa from Peru is driving small-scale organic growers in Bolivia out of business.

Quinoa (http://www.takepart.com/flashcards/what-is-quinoa). That protein-packed pseudo cereal that continues to thrive in an otherwise sugar-obsessed society. What’s not to love?

Well, besides threatening biodiversity (http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/04/28/quinoa-infographic) in the Andes because of increased production, international demand is pitting Bolivia’s organic growers against agribusinesses that have recently proliferated in Peru.
Heavy pesticide (http://www.takepart.com/photos/6-shocking-facts-about-pesticides-your-food-supply) use enables many Peruvian companies to sell cheaper quinoa. The country, which has doubled its production from 2013, is poised to overtake Bolivia as the world’s top exporter this year. A decade ago, Bolivia had 90 percent of the global market; Peru had 6 percent.

“[Peruvian businesses] are trying to force us to lower prices,” Bolivian farmer Reynaldo Mamani told The Associated Press (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/influx-cheap-peruvian-quinoa-riles-bolivia-27098404?singlePage=true). He grows larger, reddish-purple royal quinoa in the landlocked country’s highlands. While he uses pesticides, Mamani forgoes chemical fertilizers and uses llama manure instead.

Read more: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/11/29/bolivia-peru-organic-inorganic-quinoa?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2014-12-01

12-02-14, 06:03 PM
I have purchased a 25 lb sack of domestically grown organic white quinoa a few years ago at my local health food co-op. One saves 10% that way. I still have a little ways to go before replenishing. It is grown in high elevation in Colorado at; http://www.whitemountainfarm.com/ where, as the article mentions, is less likely to have insects.

I can't remember why, but the white quinoa was supposed to be a better choice than the red quinoa, perhaps nutritionally. There are a few brands of adulterated boxed quinoa that can be found in the supermarket cereal aisle shelves, which is probably the cause of the sprayed factory farmed quinoa in Peru.

I googled <choosing quinoa> and here is one of many websites explaining differences in quinoa color; http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-quinoa.htm

12-02-14, 09:06 PM
I am always a little uneasy about stocking up in such large quantities, because in the past I've suffered losses due to insect infestation. What do you do to avoid that problem, Grulla?

12-03-14, 09:51 AM
One can put the quinoa or what ever grain, in a sizeable freezer, and just one week (or permanently) should kill off those pesky little varmits. If you decide on only a temporary purge in the freezer, then it would be a good idea to place the paper quinoa bag inside a tightly sealed plastic garbage bag as a preventative against another insect invasion. Say, aren't those insects a good source of protein? :-)

12-03-14, 07:30 PM
grulla, I think it only takes 48 hours to kill off any bugs or their eggs. I've learned to do it with almost anything that keeps for a while eg beans, rice etc.

As I posted here a while go, I even did all my sweaters, one by one, to get rid of clothes moths!

I have also read to put grains etc in a container with a tight-fitting metal lid - light a candle inside, close the lid, and the candle will go out when it has used up all the oxygen. The bugs can't breed inside an airless space. Sounds interesting, haven't tried it.

12-04-14, 10:01 PM
If it's cost effective, a small piece of dry ice could also suffocate those mites and insects in a confined and sealed area, but one would have to allow for expansion as if you were fermenting wine.