Hey guys, the United Nations really wants us all to eat more quinoa, so much so that they've decided that this year will be "The International Year of the Quinoa." Yep, "the Quinoa."
Proposed by the government of Bolivia, the designation is meant to "focus world attention on the role that quinoa´s biodiversity and nutritional value plays in providing food security and nutrition," the United Nations wrote.
The fact that quinoa can adapt to different agricultural regions means it can potentially contribute to the fight against hunger and malnutrition. A report submitted with the proposal noted that quinoa can grow in areas with a wide range of humidity (from 40 percent to 88 percent) and withstand a wide range of temperatures. Furthermore, quinoa is a water-efficient plant that can still produce quality crops with little rainfall, all while containing all essential amino acids and vitamins for humans.
LiveScience reports, however, that the touted health benefits of quinoa have caused prices to skyrocket. Bolivia noted that due to higher demand, and thus higher prices, malnutrition could potentially spike in quinoa-growing areas. The United Nations hopes that expanding quinoa production to other countries, other than Bolivia, Peru, and the United States, could increase food and nutritional security worldwide. It's a lot to ask from what used to be considered a junk crop.