Quinoa’s new status as a superfood has altered the economic fortunes of Quechua farmers in the Andean highlands. Linda J. Seligmann journeys to the Huanoquite region of Peru to track the mixed blessings brought about by the surging worldwide popularity of this “exquisite grain.” Focusing on how Indigenous communities have confronted globalization, Seligmann examines the influence of food politics, development initiatives, and the region’s agrarian history on present-day quinoa production among Huanoquiteños. She also looks at the human stories behind these transformations, from the work of quinoa brokers to the ways Huanoquite’s men and women navigate the shifts in place and power occurring in their homes and communities. Finally, Seligmann considers how the consequences of nearby mining may impact Huanoquiteños’ ability to farm quinoa and thrive in their environment, and the efforts they are taking to resist these threats to their way of life.
The untold story behind the popular health food, Quinoa illuminates how Indigenous communities have engaged with the politics and policies surrounding their production of a traditional and minor crop that became a global foodstuff.
Introduction: Quinoa Prospects
Part One. Backstories: Land Struggles, the Allure of Infrastructure, and Development Desires in Huanoquite
Chapter 1. Agrarian Reform, Revolution, and Reversals
Chapter 2. The Power and Seduction of Infrastructure
Chapter 3. Contesting Development, Alternative Paths
Part Two. Soup and Superfood: The Politics of Quinoa Production and Consumption
Chapter 4. The Expansion of Quinoa Production
Chapter 5. Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainability
Chapter 6. To Be Strong and Healthy
Chapter 7. Voracious Consumption
Conclusion: Pragmatic Spirituality and Quinoa Desires
Linda J. Seligmann is professor emerita of anthropology at George Mason University. Her books include Broken Links, Enduring Ties: American Adoption across Race, Class, and Nation and Peruvian Street Lives: Culture, Power, and Economy among Market Women of Cuzco.
“Linda J. Seligmann’s book brilliantly examines the role of the superfood quinoa in and on a local Andean community, exploring gender relationships, local production systems, and the communal sense of place, as these phenomena intersect with the nation state and global capitalism.”--William P. Mitchell, author of Voices from the Global Margin: Confronting Poverty and Inventing New Lives in the Andes
"Seligmann succeeds in showing how interconnected quinoa is to local and global food politics, economic development, and sustainability initiatives in Peru." --H-Net Reviews