by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
It makes absolutely no difference whether it is Fairtrade or ordinary trade, the fact that in the developed world this food is seen as a super food, especially amongst vegetarians and vegans, is leading to possible starvation of the people whose staple food this is.
It is especially sad that we allow this to happen where in most of our countries we pull the cousin of Quinoa which also produces feeds of the same value out of the our fields and gardens as weed. The plants that I am talking about here is knows by a number of names, some of them are Goosefoot, Fat Hen or Lambsquarter.
Because people, especially vegetarians and vegans, in the West, in the developed world, demand more and more of this “super food” the people who produce it and whose staple diet it used to be can no longer afford it, and this even if it is supposedly fairly traded, as in “Fairtrade”. There is nothing fair at it and this is but one of those foods that has that kind of impact on people in the Third World where it is produced.
Our demand for this stuff is causing, according to reports, a shortage of this staple foods in the Andean countries where it is being grown and this is not a sustainable way to go.
Vegetarianism and veganism is always advocated as being a sustainable way but when we demand exotic stuffs to feed ourselves then it becomes far from sustainable. It is a little like bringing in firewood into Britain for sustainable heating from as far away as Poland, the Ukraine and Western Russia. Sustainability is something else, folks, and not this.
We must reconsider how and what we eat for sure and that also applies to vegetarians and vegans. It is not possible to demand foods that have to be shipped in from thousands of miles away and our demand of which cause the producers to go hungry.
It is high time that we rethought the system and not just in this regard.