Quinoa is a funny thing. It seems to divide people in many ways. The example in the picture is the most common way people look at quinoa enjoyers. When I first saw this I have to say it made me laugh a lot. Then it got me thinking how this one tiny seed had got people so wound up.
Perhaps it's the way it's correctly pronounced 'Keen-wa'; seems to really gripe with some people; it conjures up images of yummy mummies eating "foreign foods", the upper class, it's also heavily associated with 'clean eating' extremists and other faddy diets which are frowned upon (and I have to say, quite rightly too. Everything in moderation, right?).
As a quinoa farmer, this divide is a bit, well, annoying really! Only 10% of our farm is dedicated to quinoa. In fact, our other crops are wheat, barley and we grow linseed for seed. Our neighbours grow oil seed rape. NONE of these crops originated in Britain, many came from the Middle East but have been whole-heartedly embraced into our diets, now how long this took I have no idea! Perhaps they were also smirked and mocked at in the beginning too?!
I'm not growing quinoa specifically for people who avoid gluten (I'm not just talking about Coeliacs but people who choose not to eat gluten because, well, frankly it's their life and if they want to they can!), or just for vegans and vegetarians (although it is one of the few complete proteins which is why it's popular for the meat and 'free from' diets), I'm not growing it to promote 'clean eating' (for one I'd be an absolute hypocrite, I love crisps with my glass of wine and I would rather die than exclude sugar from my diet!).
I'm growing it because there are a bunch of open minded people out there who just darn well like it. They enjoy the taste, the versatility, the fact that it's now British grown, the fact it's 100% traceable and pesticide free and the fact that yes, it's different. These people aren't the yummy mummies, vegans, coeliacs or clean eaters. They are the mavericks, the people that just like to embrace something a bit different in their lives.
And I think that's rather nice.