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What are the environmental and social consequences of increased demand for gluten-free grains?

Quinoa growing in Bolivia. Credit: Bioversity International/S. Padulosi

In a recent article in The Guardian, Bioversity International Senior Economist Adam Drucker shares his thoughts on how farmers' livelihoods in countries such as Bolivia and Peru have improved thanks to the increased demand for crops like quinoa.

What are the environmental and social consequences of increased demand for gluten-free grains such as quinoa? That’s the question that a recent article in The Guardian tries to address.

Studies have shown that farmers’ livelihoods in countries such as Bolivia and Peru have actually improved. Interviewed by The Guardian, Bioversity International Senior Economist Adam Drucker, said: “I had a group of students from Cornell who carried out a review of press reports regarding quinoa which highlighted that many quinoa farmers were now better off as a result of higher quinoa prices and that increased exports were not at the expense of reduced domestic consumption, which has been rising slightly and had always been at a low level following colonial-era restrictions.”

Increased income has also allowed quinoa producers to diversify their diets with meat, fruit and vegetables while maintaining quinoa as a source of valuable protein.

Read the full article ‘Is gluten-free good for the planet?’ in The Guardian.

Photo: Quinoa growing in Bolivia. Credit: Bioversity International/S. Padulosi

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