What the heck is quinoa? I wondered, but nevertheless bought a bag of rice with quinoa at the grocery store. I cooked it Thursday night for dinner. It’s good! and so I had to read all about it on Wikipedia. The plant was first domesticated by the Andean people some 3,000 years ago. It’s becoming very popular in the USA, China and Japan. In its natural state it has saponins, a mild eye and respiratory irritant. Most of that is removed for consumption outside of its indigenous countries, though. And finally, The United Nations declared 2013 is the International Year of Quinoa, in recognition of the ancestral practices of the Andean people.