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What saves 5,000 food miles every time you eat it?

It’s not often you meet farmers prepared to take risks on growing a heritage crop that has a lot in common with a weed. But that’s what the trio behind Hodmedod’s did when they started producing quinoa, the cereal-like ingredient that’s a darling of healthy eaters worldwide. Susan Low travelled to Suffolk to find out how a brave idea became reality

delicious. 2016 PRODUCE AWARDS WINNER

There’s been a lot of hype around quinoa and its health benefits. I’ll level with you: I’m deeply suspicious of the term ‘superfood’ because it tends to go hand-in-hand with tabloid headlines making inflated claims based on research that, when you drill down into it, is sketchy at best. But that aside, quinoa is packed with nutrients, it’s versatile and it has a great nutty flavour, which makes it a gold-star ingredient in my book. And the good news is it’s now being grown in the UK so there’s no need for it to be shipped halfway round the world before it lands on your table.

On a sunny summer’s day I took the train to Suffolk to meet Josiah Meldrum and Nick Saltmarsh who, along with William Hudson (away on a research trip to Canada at the time of my visit), make up Hodmedod’s. All are locals with a passion for sustainable food and farming.

We meet at a café near the Orwell River estuary. It’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Josiah tells me that the writer Eric Blair so loved the river that he took his pen name, George Orwell, from it. Far from the bleak settings of Orwell’s books, however, this slice of verdant loveliness could have been the inspiration for the word bucolic.

Over cheese sandwiches, I hear how the company came into being. The trio met when working for East Anglia Food Link (EAFL), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that supports and develops sustainable food systems. Nick says, “We’d all been working in various ways in food. I studied maths and philosophy, then went off and worked on organic farms in Italy and Ireland after university.

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About Delicious Magazine

The September issue of delicious. is packed with great cooking: there’s a Ukrainian feast from Olia Hercules, a relaxed Persian menu from Sabrina Ghayour, Bruno Loubet’s incredible mushroom burger, Richard Bertinet’s end-of-summer pudding and Thane Prince’s foolproof jam-making feature. Our bigger midweek section is also filled with inspiration for exciting and healthy meals that are simple to cook but deliver on flavour. Plus improve your kitchen skills with our guide to sourdough, making a pastry lattice and step-by-step biryani.
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