Chia seeds, which have become increasingly popular in the past few years much like their South American friend quinoa, are traditionally a staple food of communities in both Peru and Bolivia. As each new ‘superfood’ trend sweeps through magazines, cooking shows and social media a tale of health, beauty and vitality is told to create the all intended hype…so that we all race to the shops and buy bulk on acai, amaranth, maca etc etc.
We can all agree that these foods are wonderful. What most people don’t think about is whilst these foods become global commodities, making the rich richer, the local people who have evolved eating these foods end up unable to afford the very food they have grown for generations. There are always 2 sides to every story and, of course, the benefit to farmers in the Andes (for example) can be significant, giving them an opportunity to earn more than they would have previously and the hope of lifting themselves out of poverty. HOWEVER this benefit is only relevant to those few who are represented by a Fairtrade organisation who support fair wages and safe working environments. And needless to say this is not the norm.
Both quinoa and chia seeds are grown extensively in Australia, with other corners of the globe catching up, and that is all I will buy. When shopping for the latest superfood ‘be kind and take 5min’ to read the label looking specifically for where the product was grown, packaged and distributed. This will allow you to make the choice of buying an imported item versus an equally as nutritious local product. Your choice >> further reading suggestions below for you to get your teeth into.
Raspberry, vanilla and chia jam
chia seeds, locally sourced, 3 tbs
lemon, juice of 1/2
berries, raspberries or blackberries, 500g
maple syrup, 1 tbs
vanilla seeds, 1tsp
- Sterilise two 250g jars by submerging in hot boiling water and extracting with tongs.
- Place lemon juice, vanilla, maple syrup and raspberries in a saucepan and simmer on low for 5min until flavours combined. Set aside and allow to cool for 10min.
- Stir in chia seeds, pur jam into jars and allow to set with the lid on in the fridge until cold.
Serve on scones, crumpets, toast, pancakes, croissants….its delicious just eat this with everything!
This is a goodie: The environmental Impact of imported superfoods.
Although we believe supporting local and Fairtrade foods is the only ethical answer to food security and sustainability I always encourage myself, and others, to read beyond your comfort zone. Which is why I have included this article for interest sake and diversity of thinking (what do you think!?).’Quinoa bad for Bolivian and Peruvian farmers: ignore the media hand wringing’.
We created Farm to Face because we know that the food we eat has a huge impact on our health and well being, and on the planet! We’re inspiring people to live waste free and eat for the future by choosing local, seasonal and ethical foods.
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