mouse and witch

Witch went to Mouse and said, “You are right!” Mouse was staggered as she didn’t have a clue what she was talking about.

“I agree, we shouldn’t include the teff custard in the book” she explained. “Why the sudden change?” Mouse asked her friend. And then Witch told her that she had just read an article about teff being currently en vogue with Hollywood stars. So the demand is rising and will rise even further. However, it is also one of the basic foods in Ethiopia, where half the population  lives on less than a dollar a day. As the carbohydrates in teff are absorbed slowly people can eat their national dish injera, a sour dough bread made from teff, and then work all day without getting hungry. The Ethiopian government is now expecting a price explosion due to increased demand from the Western World, akin to what happened when quinoa all of a sudden became popular a few years back. This might result in hunger and malnourishment in the poorer population of Ethopia. As a measure, the government has currently banned exports of teff except with a special license.

“I wonder if you can obtain a special license when you give money to a government official?” asked Mouse.

“That’s not my main concern, but you might have a point there” said Witch. “Teff is certainly a very healthy food, but we in the West don’t run the risk of starvation, particularly not the Hollywood lot. Luckily, teff is a relatively hardy plant, but I understand it is time consuming to look after and process. Personally, I will forgo my desire for teff until other cultivating areas have been established – but not in a Monsanto type of way.”