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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As part of a twitter rant on Thursday morning, President Trump singled out Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham for criticism. He said Flake is "WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!" Trump also named Flake's primary challenger, Kelli Ward. He said Graham's contention that Trump suggested a moral equivalence between the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and the counter-protesters is a "disgusting lie."
"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.