Description: A field of Quinoa growing at Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Goosefoot, Pigweed, Inca Wheat
Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), and originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America. It was first used to feed livestock 5.2–7.0 thousand years ago, and for human consumption 3–4 thousand years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia.