Friday, May 14, 2010

Farmville Could Change our Eating Habits

I know this sounds truly asinine, but Farmville could to have more impact on our eating habits than Food, Inc. I'm sorry to have asked this question, but when I did, I found out that 63 million people are active Farmville users, and that Food, Inc.'s box office gross was under $5 million, and we all know seeing a movie costs more than a dollar.

Farmville isn't out to change our eating habits, but they do come up with all kinds of cool and interesting crops. I need to look some of them up. For some of the crops, like durian, I look them up and think "Oh, that's what it's called!" But just as often, it's like "Really? There is such a thing?"

So where could this change our eating habits. Well, if 30 million people suddenly decide they want to try a jackfruit, not much of a shift would occur. Fruit trees take years to grow, so you will either be able to get your hands on a jackfruit or not. Most people know this about fruits, and even if they wanted to try a new fruit, they aren't going to replace their apples.

But for amaranth, which is a grain, you could really create a shift. I don't think people will replace wheat and corn, but it's possible to imagine. I don't know about you, but corn is kind of wearing thin with me.

A while back I was talking to one of the largest grain importers in Israel, and he said the amount of grain imported annually doesn't change much, but the type of grain does. Right now, quinoa is "in". Grains take weeks or months, not years, to grow, and they can be stored and transported.

From what I read on amaranth, it's got a higher protein content than wheat, and it's easier to grow in various conditions. I bet I could find some in the health food store. With 63 million people already exposed to the product, this is an interesting marketing opportunity for someone.

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