This year has seen tanking approval ratings for just about everybody in Washington, thanks to bungled policy initiatives, stalled legislation, and a government shutdown. But one player did have a good year.
In February, the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization declared 2013 the international year of quinoa, not for the grain’s place in Western society as a healthy, even upscale ingredient that’s tough to pronounce, but for its impact on food security around the world.
Quinoa contains many essential amino acids and vitamins, and can grow in a variety of climates. Planting and cultivating quinoa in areas of extreme poverty eases hunger and malnutrition, the U.N. group explains, and could eventually give rise to a new crop industry.
The price of quinoa, often called “the miracle grain of the Andes” for its origins, has tripled since 2006, The Guardian reported early this year. Its popularity in nations where the crop is not indigenous, like the United States, has pushed costs up enough so that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia can no longer afford it. Still, Peru and Bolivia are among the list of South American nations funding this year’s promotional campaign of quinoa.
In the U.S., the concept of quinoa as a “super food” is at least a few years old. The grain’s versatility, as well as its recent recognition as a food craze, will keep it on the world stage for years to come.
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The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals "has upheld the nationwide block of President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. ... It upholds the suspension of a revised version of the executive order that the Trump administration crafted to better hold up to legal scrutiny than an earlier version."
A Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, one of several such islands at the center of territorial disputes with other nearby nations. The U.S. called it a "freedom of navigation exercise." Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang "said China had lodged stern representations to the U.S over the patrol and that such moves were not conducive to peace and stability in the South China Sea."