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.


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  • Pissedoffyouth

    Greens: “The poor can’t afford food lets give them more money!”
    Greens: “Lets increase the burden on food growers, they pollute etc”

    Do they even listen to themselves?

  • In Vino Veritas

    Yes, but vegetarianism leaves one more stupid that a meat eater:

    It appears that if human kind had continued eating grain, nuts, leaves etc, we wouldnt have such a highly developed brain. It appears that vegetarianism proves Darwins theory on natural selection. It would appear that vegetarians and vegans are growing more stupid as time passes.

  • Allyson

    Closer to home. If the Greens are allowed to print billions of kiwidollars, how will the inflationary side-effect effect the poorest, most vulnerable members of our society?

  • tarkwin

    I really really really hate hippies.

  • ConwayCaptain

    There is also a shortage of corn as they use this to make Bio Fuels

  • Dont forget Teff, which is now getting promoted as a super food. yup the ethiopians will be left short changed soon.

  • Ronnie Chow

    This could happen to Milk . Oh , wait .

  • Hazards001

    Bummer eh? Global economy and all the annoying shit it brings with it. Milk per litre is only a few cents less than petrol here because all the Chinese want it, as for lamb..been a long time since the average kiwi wage earner could afford to put that on the table. Lot of people here live on junk food because they perceive (right or wrong) that it’s actually cheaper.

    As for fuel crops replacing food ones I said 30 years ago when involved in rapeseed trials ( a tractor that at the time had the world record for the longest continuous hours running on an alternative fuel – rapeseed oil) that this would be the result. Not that the Green taliban give a damn. The removal of a few million annoying humans from the planet due to starvation isn’t going to keep them awake.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    When it comes to the Greens, there’s always a shortage of something, and I have a fair idea what that is

    • Steve (North Shore)

      mass between the ears