1) I know how it is produced and don't typically care about the difference
2) Am not into the whole "surplus marketing" thing
3) What I eat is just as healthy anyways.
But, nonetheless, I wanted to see what was on the shelves. One product I found today gave me a little surprise. Within the grain and cereals section, there sat some bags of Amaranth.
When I saw the word, this is what I immediately thought of.
|Young Palmer amaranth plants. Photo courtesy of Syngenta|
|Mature Palmer amaranth (tall, finger-like plants) in cotton.|
Photo via http://www.extension.org/sites/default/files/w/e/e2/Pigweed.jpg
But, as I discovered on Wikipedia, this family of weeds all derived from Mexico and are essentially eaten in that country as a protein source.
|Bob's Red Mill Amaranth|
Step back a moment.
I just told you it is one of, if not the most, difficult to control weeds in agriculture right now. And people are eating seeds from a different amaranth plant because of health benefits.
This article from the Huffington Post shared 14 reasons it is good to eat Amaranth seed. I don't know about you, but if that doesn't get your mind turning to figure out a way to sow the seeds from these weeds in the U.S. and keep them out of farmers fields, I don't know what will. My grocery experience today reminded me that we still have a long road ahead before all of our challenges can be overcome and ag literacy can be improved.
In the meantime, I plan to stay away from buying Amaranth seed when I know plenty of farmers would happily give it away to me if I asked.