Mexico’s ancient crop could help fight world hunger

Global Business

Mexico's ancient crop could help fight world hunger

It’s estimated that 1 in 9 people around the world suffer from chronic hunger. Most countries still opt for rice, wheat and corn as main sources for carbohydrates.

But experts are arguing an ancient and forgotten food crop from Mexico can also help solve world hunger issues.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.

Mexico is the global origin of this colorful, ancient crop called amaranth. Ancient Meso American civilizations cultivated amaranth some three to five thousand years before Christ.

Pre-Hispanic groups popped the seeds and used them to create figures of their ancients Gods. Spanish conquistadors wanted to end that tradition, so food historians say the conquistadors banned the seed from the Mexican diet.

The director of Mexico’s Amaranth Association said that did not stop the global spread of this ancient, protein-rich food.

The colorful plant can grow in adverse conditions, even in drought-stricken Africa. In those parts of the world, health experts say amaranth could be a solution to help fight malnutrition.

But for now despite its low production costs and high nutritional value, this ancient Mexican seed remains a second-tier grain across the world, compared to rice, corn or wheat.