One of the case studies conducted in 2021 as part of this project : “Growing and standardising indigenous food plants for healthy food markets: intensifying amaranth cultivation in Mexico”

In the era of globalisation, indigenous food plants that had remained on the sidelines of the expansion of capitalism have entered international markets through the welfare sector. Combined with the intensification of their organic, fair trade and slow food agricultural production and the variety of their by-products, the presence of indigenous food plants has initiated an increase in consumption options and thus opened up a fragmentation of their market. This raises the question of the impact of their production and circulation patterns on the indigenous and peasant agri-food systems with which these native plants have historically been associated. From the nutritional reinforcement of the diets of the poorest rural populations promoted in the 1970s by the FAO to the current revitalisation of the pre-Hispanic cultural heritage associated with this plant promoted by territorial labels, the inclusion of an imaginary associated with ethnic identity and ancestral wisdom – which these plants can evoke – is attracting a growing demand from a market promoting new modes of eating, such as healthy-food or even super-food for the more privileged urban classes concerned with a healthy lifestyle. In recent years, there has been an expansion of amaranth production, dissociated from traditional food systems based on the Milpa, and the distribution of its by-products in new forms (leaf, flour, biscuits, etc.) for both the local and international markets. It is in this tension between different forms of production and construction of marketing channels for amaranth that the impact of markets on the construction of new social norms of consumption and production of foods derived from indigenous food plants and their influence on the transformation of local food systems will be understood.