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Bolivia's Evo Morales Attacks Malnutrition with Incas' Sacred Grain

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Evo Morales, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is reputed to have almost superhuman energy -- his appointment book, which starts each day at 4 am and ends at 1 am is a testament to his unusual stamina.

Is it because his favorite food is quinoa (KEEN-wah) soup, made with the mysterious sacred grain of the Incas?

by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, used with permission

United Nations' International Year of Quinoa

Morales, a former quinoa grower, was appointed Special Ambassador for the International Year of Quinoa, now being observed by the United Nations during 2013. The official launching ceremony scheduled for Oct. 2012 was delayed by hurricane Sandy, but it finally took place at the UN on Feb. 20, 2013.

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia by Wiki South America

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), during his remarks at the ceremony, "Morales noted: 'Quinoa is an ancestral legacy that has been cultivated for more than 7,000 years and is presented as a worthy alternative amid the current food crisis. It can achieve good yields and is very resistant to frost,' Morales said, recalling his early days as a small-scale producer of quinoa in Orinoca, his birthplace. Among the properties credited to this cereal, Morales stressed the reduction of anemia and cholesterol, as well as its suitability for maintaining a balanced diet due to its high ratio of unsaturated fats." 

Morales called western fast food, "a threat to humanity," blaming it for causing cancer and other diseases.

During the ceremony, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said that the effort to put a spotlight on quinoa is part of an overall strategy to reclaim traditional or forgotten crops as a means to combat global hunger and promote healthy eating.

Quinoa Farmer by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, used with permission

The FAO notes that "The International Year of the Quinoa" (IYQ), "recognizes the Andean indigenous peoples, who have maintained, controlled, protected and preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations thanks to their traditional knowledge and practices of living well in harmony with mother earth and nature."

Bolivia is the world's largest producer of the ancient grain, followed by Peru, then the United States.

Quinoa Farmers in the Andes by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, used with permission

Classified as a whole grain, quinoa is actually a seed, native to the Andes.  When cooked, it has a tasty, nutty flavor and a chewy texture. It was revered by the Incas as a sacred grain that had spiritual significance.

Nutritional Value of a Superfood

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)

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Quinoa is delicious and very nutritious -- the onl... by eesabi on Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:41:59 PM
And I think it is up to the Bolivian government to... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 2:42:21 PM
This is the food we could be eating from our garde... by Cynthia Piano on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 7:58:56 AM
Yes, I love quinoa lots of different ways...those ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 8:41:45 AM
I found another place for seeds...see my response ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 6:11:20 PM
You said: "It seems to be a no- or lo- maintenance... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 10:29:22 PM
There are so many wonderful, natural nutritious fo... by Gene Engene on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 3:01:00 PM
But I'd be willing to bet that Morales wouldn't le... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 3:33:08 PM
I wish we had leaders like him in the US. The WORL... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 4:11:59 PM
to God/dess' ears.... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 6:07:01 PM
I wonder if I could get Quinoa Seed to experiment ... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 4:21:53 PM
You might look into a grant, or perhaps wholesale ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 6:05:17 PM
Thanks for the seed link. I'll see what I can do a... by Daniel Penisten on Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 12:54:51 AM
I made this quinoa stew even though it was still h... by Amy Schreiner on Friday, Oct 11, 2013 at 3:23:01 PM
Thanks for the good report! I hadn't tried that on... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Oct 11, 2013 at 4:14:00 PM