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Quinoa is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. As a member of the Amaranthaceae family, it is related to and resembles amaranth, which is also a pseudocereal.

The taxonomic classification is:

-   Kingdom:           Plantae
-   Order:               Caryophyllales
-   Family:              Amaranthaceae
-  Subfamily:          Chenopodioideae
-  Genus:               Chenopodium
-  Specie:              Chenopodium quinoa Willd.

Because of its high nutritional value, indigenous peoples and researchers often refer to it as "The golden 'grain' of the Andes"

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