Bolivia

Photo Of The Day

French photographer Thomas Rousset and graphic designer Raphaël Verona took a trip to Bolivia to encounter a magical world of doctors, spiritual healers and medicine men. They got to know strange rites and rituals, facing some ancient mythologies.

French photographer Thomas Rousset and graphic designer Raphaël Verona took a trip to Bolivia to encounter a magical world of doctors, spiritual healers and medicine men. They got to know strange rites and rituals, facing some ancient mythologies.

 

Welcome to the Bolivian Mountains, Where Magical Realism Is A Way Of Life.

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OK, I get it. Cats are out

Obesity a plus for Labour Housing Affordability plans

Ever since Labour’s Housing Affordability dream was first mooted, I have been looking for ways to help labour realise the goal of a $9.50 house on a $20 section.    Or something like that.

Well, once more we look overseas for a potential solution:  Garbage Homes

Captewrweure

Ingrid Vaca Diez is on a mission to build better homes for the poor.

With few funds and little support, she uses the only resource she can find in abundance – empty plastic bottles.   Read more »

Thanks to the hippies the poor can no longer afford their staples

The green taliban have foist so-called ‘climate mitigation’ programs upon us all…one of the most dodgy being bio-fuels.

It has achieved nothing other than make the staple crops of the poor unaffordable. Maize and wheat prices have gone through the roof.

Now the flipside of the green taliban coin, vegans and hippies,  are causing problems with another staple in Bolivia and Peru:

Not long ago, quinoa was just an obscure Peruvian grain you could only buy in wholefood shops. We struggled to pronounce it (it’s keen-wa, not qui-no-a), yet it was feted by food lovers as a novel addition to the familiar ranks of couscous and rice. Dieticians clucked over quinoa approvingly because it ticked the low-fat box and fitted in with government healthy eating advice to “base your meals on starchy foods”.

Adventurous eaters liked its slightly bitter taste and the little white curls that formed around the grains. Vegans embraced quinoa as a credibly nutritious substitute for meat. Unusual among grains, quinoa has a high protein content (between 14%-18%), and it contains all those pesky, yet essential, amino acids needed for good health that can prove so elusive to vegetarians who prefer not to pop food supplements.

Sales took off. Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the “miracle grain of the Andes”, a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider’s larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn’t feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up – it has tripled since 2006 – with more rarified black, red and “royal” types commanding particularly handsome premiums.

But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grainhas pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture.