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Quinoa: From trendy food to potentially profitable crop

Learn more about the gluten-free, protein-rich grain

May 8, 2014

by Alberta Venture Staff

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The exploding popularity of the gluten-free, protein-rich grain quinoa is a double-edged sword for people in the South American countries in which most of it is grown. Revenue from quinoa exports helps with their trade balance, but the surging prices that result from increased demand have made the staple too expensive for the low-income families that frequently depend on it. That’s given North American quinoa-lovers a reason to pause.

But, it turns out, they may not need to be plagued by guilt after all – a source for quinoa could be right here in Alberta. NorQuin, a Saskatoon-based company, has been growing quinoa in Canada since 1992, and in 2013 contracted growers in Alberta. NorQuin planted 1,500 acres of quinoa last year across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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