Grown almost exclusively in South America, goosefoot (Chenopodium), better known as quinoa, has grown in popularity in the United States over the last several years. Considered a nutrient-dense superfood that is high in protein and essential amino acids.
“In 2007, we were importing 4 million pounds of quinoa into the US. In 2013 we imported 73 million pounds. We know we have the capacity to grow more quinoa,” says Kevin Murphy, Assistant Professor Crop and Soil Sciences of Washington State University. “In 10 years we’re hoping to grow enough quinoa in the Pacific Northwest to meet a good percentage of the domestic demands.”
It is grain-like in size and often the way it is prepared and used in cooking, but unlike wheat or barley, quinoa is gluten-free. Growers believe it has the potential to do well in the Northwest due to its preference for cool weather.