Thursday, January 17, 2013

☆ The Truth about Quinoa... and a side note to the Article Floating around... ☆

You may or may not have seen an article floating around in regards to the truth about Quinoa. I wanted to share it for a few reasons, so I'll go bit by bit. 

The Truth about Quinoa: 
I think it's important to know where our food comes from, unfortunately when we eat so many different types of foods coming in from all over the world it's difficult to always know what's bad and what's good. We don't always give it much thought. Personally, my rule of thumb is organic, fair-trade, and as much local as possible. I think these are steps that are, at the very least, in the right direction. However, when truths do come out about things like this quinoa reality, it's good to know instead of staying ignorant. Ignorance is not bliss. So, it turns out quinoa isn't doing the world a whole lot of good. That's the first reason I am sharing this article, to share the information. 

The "Steaming Pile of Ignorance" the rest of the Article is:
I read this article yesterday, and let me tell you, as much as I think that it's good that the information about quinoa is being revealed, the rest of this article I was appalled by. Before I jump into my own words, a good friend of mine passed this on which words it better than I could (and quite frankly saves me the time of repeating it). So…

"The points about quinoa are valid, as far as I know. However, the whole rest of this article is a steaming pile of ignorance. A few examples:

"all those pesky, yet essential, amino acids needed for good health...can prove so elusive to vegetarians who prefer not to pop food supplements."

Um, no. Essential amino acids are not the least bit 'elusive' in plant foods. They are present in abundance, particularly in legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc., but also in many vegetables. Most vegans have no issues meeting or exceeding their daily protein requirements. (

The author keeps referring to quinoa as a grain throughout the article, which it is not. It's a seed.

I'm kind of appalled that she decided to rail against the environmental effects of soy production, but failed to mention that 80% of the world's soybeans (including 98% of those grown in the US) are fed to livestock animals. It's incredibly disingenuous to slam vegans and vegetarians for consuming soy products when in fact people who eat animal products are responsible for most of the world's soy consumption (albeit indirectly - the soy cycles inefficiently through the animals first).

Blythman promotes a 'locavore' diet centered around meat and dairy products as the most environmentally-friendly way of eating, which is the final nail in the coffin for this article's credibility. There is ample evidence that avoiding animal products altogether is far more effective at mitigating climate change and conserving resources than eating locally-sourced animal products. It's not that eating local is bad - not at all - it's just well-established that a person's carbon footprint and water footprint are going to be astronomically higher if they eat animal products, regardless of where those products come from."

Perfectly worded, so I thank the person who wrote that. 
A few other things I'd like to add as well…
First off, this article seems like a shameless way of trying to make vegans and vegetarians look bad. This is the second time I've seen such an article in the past couple days, so it leads me to wonder who keeps pumping out these ignorant rambles targeting vegans and vegetarians when they don't need to. There is good cause to raise awareness when things are bad in the world, however it is pointless and ignorant to try and blame vegans/vegetarians when there is no cause. 
Quinoa has been considered a "health food," meaning anyone looking to eat healthily, likely organic, and do good for their health. It is a "fad" food which has grown in popularity amongst All eaters. Quinoa has never been targeted as a "vegan food" and I know plenty of non-vegans that also eat it. Therefore, why is the article trying to blame the wrong community? To try and make themselves feel better about eating meat? Or to try to promote eating more meat? Either way, it's discrediting.
The article also fails to mention the footprint of a meat-eating diet, the workers that have to work in those factories who often have no where else to turn, and the mass amounts of pollution, waste, and the impact of crops that need to be grown just to feed factory farmed animals for meat consumption. 
The article vaguely touches on soy, which has already been discussed above so I won't repeat, but I just wanted to mention, what was the point? Another attempt to bash the vegan community? 

I get that quinoa appears to be not so great but this article is coming at it from all the wrong places. Sharing the information about quinoa I think is important, trying to put the blame on vegans and vegetarians is just plain ignorant and stupid and discrediting to the original article. 
For now, I am on the hunt for a better article regarding the quinoa problem instead of turning people onto this "steaming pile of ignorance" that everyone has recently been turning to.
I also want to find out if there is such thing as ethical quinoa instead of leaving readers stranded. I will post when I find out more. 
Let's share information the right way, shall we?

**UPDATE: ** 
Found another really interesting article today that may go to show that this whole quinoa problem isn't real after all:

Either way, worth a read, and a new perspective on it all!


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  1. It's definitely not just vegans who eat quinoa, a family friend from Peru eats it and gives it to us as gifts all the time, and she's not vegetarian at all, just a sweet older lady.

  2. I was vegetarian for four years and vegan for a few months but I recieved so much difficulty from EVERYONE making presumptions and attempting to negate the reasons for veganism. I literally gave up. This quinoa response sums up how closely I relate being "healthy" and being "vegan" and how meat-eaters love to blame vegans for things like soy consumption- that vegan lifestyle is irrelevant because it considers soy ok. It makes me want to flip a table over. I'm ready to be vegan again but it's rather frustrating when you can't even raise awareness in family circles to stop eating factory farmed frozen foods.

    1. people can be pretty resistant to these things but in the end you just have to do what You want and feel is right. People come around eventually. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Good article; I enjoyed reading it! Your new link for the other article doesn't work - when clicked it says its been removed.


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