Growing a Better Future

A news story on Quinoa? Yes. The importance of quinoa has been marginalized for far too long, and it’s time to recognize its full potential as a super grain.

By Olivia Daniels

Quinoa, the “Mother Grain”, is very underutilized despite the substantial increase in the demand for more gluten free grains. Market after market, consumers worldwide are beginning to realize and recognize the importance of enjoying whole grains and wheat. This grain in specific could mean for the future of food.

Chenopodium, more commonly referred to as Quinoa, is a part of the flowering plant family of Amaranthaceae, and is grown as a grain crop for its edible seeds. Experts say that Quinoa was first domesticated seven thousand years ago around Lake Titicaca in the Andean Highlands. Because of its prosperity, it was an important foundation for the Inca Empire, according to accient.eu.com. Unfortunately, according to accientgrains.com, it only grows at high altitudes and cold temperatures limiting production to the countries of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

Quinoa can be considered a super food, and with scientists making innovative discoveries, Quinoa is closer to being looked at as the future and potential of whole grains, as each day passes.

“It had the chance to truly add to current world food production,” said Whole Grain Statistics.

The high protein and moderate carbohydrate grain stands as the key grain in determining possible solutions in breeding more in a shorter time period. According to agriculture.com, in soil temperatures of 60 degrees fahrenheit, seedlings emerge in three to four days.

“By sequencing the genome we have provided the foundation to enable breeders to work much faster and more powerfully,” said project leader Professor Mark Tester, from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

This is quick but not sufficient, therefore scientists are working to decode the genome of quinoa in order to better understand its genetic makeup.

Researchers believe that genetic sequence of the grain will boost the production and popularity of the grain and it may no longer be the preserve of middle class foodies in richer countries.

Sophomore at Legend High School, Evelyn Hunter loves quinoa, but never fully understood its potential. “I always thought of it as go to snack for after school, but now I see that it’s more than just a delicious snack,” said Hunter.

Saying quinoa is delicious isn’t enough to cover the roller coaster ride your tongue goes on from the moment it enters your mouth until it drops to your stomach, but can it be better? Yes.

black-and-white-quinoa-grains

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