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Could A West African Grain Become The New Quinoa?

February 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Senegalese farmer who raises a small, nutty grain known as fonio believes it could someday become a staple across Africa and eventually around the world. A Senegalese chef in New York City also believes fonio has a bright future. Pierre Thiam is on a mission to raise fonio's profile at home and abroad, believing it can generate much-needed income for West African farmers, though they struggle to make money from it now. Cultivated in Senegal, Ghana, Mali, and other parts of the sub-Saharan region, fonio – dubbed "the new quinoa" – is gluten-free, high in protein and amino acids, and easy to cook. The drought-resistant, fast-growing plant also has the potential to help ease hunger linked to the negative impacts of climate change.[Image Credit: © Yolélé Foods Inc]
Emmanuelle Landais, "The world's latest superfood?; Fonio, a gluten-free West African grain, has the potential to become the 'new quinoa'", Thomson Reuters Foundation, February 02, 2019, © Thomson Reuters
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