A few years ago there were articles in the news that the rising popularity of quinoa was driving up prices and making it inaccessible for people in Peru and Bolivia where it had long been a traditional food. Joanna Blythman wrote in The Guardian:
The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken.
But Slate countered by saying that not buying quinoa could be even more harmful.
But the idea that worldwide demand for quinoa is causing undue harm where it's produced is an oversimplification at best. At worst, discouraging demand for quinoa could end up hurting producers rather than helping them.
Of course the quinoa farmers probably benefited from the rising price of quinoa, but what about people who weren't farming and didn't reap any of the benefits from rising demand for quinoa?