Quinoa traces its roots back thousands of years to the Inca people living near Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on earth. The Inca referred to this crop as chisaya mama or the “mother of all grains”, and the plant held a special place in Incan society. In fact, sowing the first seeds of the season was an honor exclusively reserved for the reigning Incan emperor.
So, why all the hullabaloo? Let’s look at the facts.
First, let it be known that Quinoa is not a grain, but rather a flowering herb closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. And, it’s not pronounced kwin-OH-a but KEEN-wah. Humans eat the seeds, which grow on huge stalks that reach up to nine feet tall and can range in color from black to yellow to purple.
Interesting…but again, what’s the big deal?
Amazingly, quinoa offers all the essential amino acids that humans require for nourishment and development — an attribute that is rarely found in plants. Instead of eating a bloody steak of unknown provenance, you can now confidently eat quinoa and know that you have your essential amino acids covered.
But what about other nutrients?
Quinoa is a rich source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron, which led NASA to propose the crop as an ideal food for long-duration space travel.
Not impressed yet?
The plant is mega growth crop that asks little in return. A half a pound of seed can plant a full acre that yields up to 2000 pounds of seed. That’s a 4,000% seed yield. Moreover, the nutrient-rich plant needs almost no water or soil nutrients to grow. In short, quinoa thrives in conditions that cause almost all other plants to fail. This is why the United Nation has designated quinoa a “super crop” in recognition of its potential to feed the hungry of the world.
2 Degrees makes all its bars with quality quinoa. When you enjoy a 2 Degrees bar, you are appreciating a five-thousand-year-old tradition of robust nutrition. Indeed, Inca warriors ate balls of quinoa to fortify their energy supply before long marches and protracted battles. So next time you need high-impact nutrition on the go, harness your inner Inca warrior and eat quinoa!