Did you know that the UN declared 2013 the "International Year of Quinoa"? It seems like the nutty, nutritious grain is everywhere these days, and the United Nations wants to take it even further, expanding knowledge and production of quinoa in countries suffering from food insecurity.
Quinoa can grow in a variety of climates, can withstand drought and poor soil, and is high in protein, fiber and certain minerals, including calcium, so the hope is that quinoa production can expand into countries where the population might otherwise lack reliable access to protein sources.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has shared a couple photo sets that show the diversity of quinoa production, from the blue skies and fertile fields of Ecuador (top photo) to the dry, mountain-ringed plains in Chile (bottom photo). Both have us looking at the bag of quinoa in the pantry with a little more appreciation.
Check it out:
→ Quinoa in Ecuador on Flickr
→ Quinoa in Chile on Flickr
→ International Year of Quinoa 2013 website
Related: 10 Satisfying Recipes Made With Quinoa
(Images: Flickr member FAOALC licensed under Creative Commons)