Quinoa tricolore – the Inca food that brightens up your plate

Quinoa is not only tasty and healthy. It is also a nutritious and resilient plant. The Incas knew this. They often referred to this South American plant as ‘the mother of all grains.’ We are also fans of quinoa, as we invest wholeheartedly in sustainable food. Would you like to see an example of this? The first boxes of Boni Selection Bio quinoa tricolore have arrived at Colruyt, Spar, OKay and Bio-Planet. This high-quality product from Peru is the result of a chain project, from producer to shelf.

At home in all terrains

Quinoa really stands out. This ancient plant has been grown in the Andes for at least 5,000 years. The Incas considered it a sacred food because of its extremely high nutritional value. This ‘wonder food’ is bursting with proteins, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. It is gluten-free and an ideal meat-substitute for vegetarians. Furthermore, this hardy plant can withstand wind and all weathers. Quinoa can grow at altitudes above 4,000 metres in the most inhospitable terrains. It needs far less water than rice or wheat. That is why this stress-resistant herbaceous plant may play a significant role in the future if the world’s population continues to grow and the climate continues to warm.

Quinoa seeds
Quinoa seeds are extremely nutritious, gluten-free and are an ideal meat-substitute for vegetarians.

Tasty and sustainable

What will be on our plate in 2050? Not many people ask themselves this. However, we do. By then the world’s population will be more the 9 billion, and will require around 50% more food than today. It is for this reason that the Province of Flemish Brabant has started working with Rikolto, KU Leuven, UC Leuven-Limburg and the Colruyt Group on an ambitious project: “Wanted: Food for the Future”. Together, we are going in search of ways to feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable manner. Quinoa can play a role here. It belongs to one of our sustainable production chains in the Global South. What are the most important features? The products are tasty and nutritious, have a small environmental footprint and also offer new opportunities to the farmers who grow them.

Quinoa is a herbaceous plant
Quinoa is not a variety of grain, rather it is a herbaceous plant that contains high levels of proteins, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

The right price

34 tonnes of quinoa. That is what we have committed to buy, in the first year alone. More than 180 small farms are being supported by Solid Food Perú. This organisation buys quinoa from the farmers at a fair price, that is higher than the average market value. It processes the quinoa and sells it to us and then reinvests the profit in social projects for local communities. “The intensive support we give to farmers and our assistance in the fields is unique. No one else is doing this,” said Efrain Avendaño Torres from Solid Food Perú. This organisation is supported by our Collibri Foundation. Wilson is one of these young quinoa farmers in the making, who is taking a training course with Solid.

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A colourful and tasty accompaniment

The harvest from this unique project is already in the shops. You can find the first boxes of Boni Selection Bio quinoa tricolore (500 g) at Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet and Spar. This tasty accompaniment brightens up your plate. It contains a mixture of white, red and black quinoa and is very tasty indeed. You can use it as you would rice, for instance in wok dishes or salads, as a side dish, or even in desserts. It gives these dishes a slightly nutty flavour and only offers benefits:

  • Quinoa is gluten-free, which makes it suitable for people with food allergies.
  • It is rich in proteins and iron and contains all of the amino acids that we need.
  • It is low in fat, but rich in omega 3.
  • It is easy to digest and is a source of fibre.

Basically, quinoa is a fantastic gift of nature.

Boni Bio Quinoa Tricolore

Peru: youngsters with a farming dream

In the regions with a chain project, we often support a training project as well via the Collibri Foundation. In the Ayacucho region in Peru, young people are training in agriculture in order to set up their own business. They thus improve their own and their community's living conditions.

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With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Zero hunger Responsible consumption & production Climate action Partnerships for the goals