From the Andes to the World

Quinoa, Intellectual Property Rights, and Global Food Security

Fabiana Li, University of Manitoba, discussed the effects of globalization on quinoa.

From the Andes to the World

"Quinoa is not just a seed, 'for some it is a superfood, for others it is genetic material, cultural identity, a driver of economic development, or a crop to feed the world.'”

Story and media by Deisy Moreno, LAI Intern

UCLA Latin American Institute, May 18, 2018 - Fabiana Li, professor of anthropology at University of Manitoba, presented her research on the spread of quinoa and its effect on the world. Professor Li has conducted previous research on resource extraction in Latin America, particularly in Peru, which influenced her to pursue research on the globalization of quinoa. The presentation on April 20th was co-sponsored by the Taller Nuestro Norte Working Group and the Latin American Institute and was attended mainly by graduate students from anthropology and sociology. 

Professor Li addressed people’s perception of quinoa as the new ally for fighting food insecurity across the world. As mentioned by Li, quinoa was mainly consumed in the Andes, however, it is now grown and consumed in 95 countries. Quinoa’s spread is largely due to its health benefits, environmental advantages, and the preservation of indigenous knowledge, so much so that the United Nations named 2013 the International Year of Quinoa.  

Quinoa has spread to countries where the seeds could not grow naturally, including China, which has led to what has been termed as the denaturalization of quinoa. 

If you would like to listen to the presentation, please find the podcast below. 

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