SAPIENS host Jen Shannon goes on a mission to find out how quinoa travels from farmers’ fields in Huanoquite, Peru, to markets in Lima and the U.S. She discovers quinoa’s complicated past and present: a bloody civil war that shook the nation, the chefs who tried to use food as a racial reconciliation project, and the current economic and social pressures small producers face when they take on huge risks to bring their product from field to market.
Linda Seligmann is a professor emeritus of sociocultural anthropology at George Mason University. She has worked in the Andean region of Latin America for over 40 years. Her current project tracks the production of quinoa and gender dynamics in the highlands of Peru.
María Elena García is an associate professor in the Comparative History of Ideas Program at the University of Washington. She is currently working on a book project about Peru’s food boom and return to democracy after two decades of civil war.
Learn more about food at SAPIENS:
- Cooking Up an International Market for Quinoa by Adam Gamwell and Corinna Howland
- Will GMOs Put an End to Hunger? Ask the Hungry by Karen Coates
- Reclaiming Native Ground by Barry Yeoman
This episode of SAPIENS was produced by Arielle Milkman, edited by Matthew Simonson, and hosted by Jen Shannon.
SAPIENS producer Paul Karolyi, along with executive producer Cat Jaffee, House of Pod intern Lucy Soucek, and SAPIENS host Esteban Gómez, provided additional support. Fact-checking is by Christine Weeber, illustration is by David Williams, and all music is composed and produced by Matthew Simonson.
SAPIENS is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.
This is an editorially independent podcast funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and produced by House of Pod.
Read a transcript of this episode here.