It’s been a strange path, but here I am about to cross the border at Nogales to start working my way down to Culiacan bringing chia cultivation back to the region it came from originally.
Chia used to be worshipped by the Mayans and Aztecs because it was such an important food, but the Spanish Conquistadors would have none of any religion other than Catholicism and if chia was part of the religious ceremonies of the “indians” of the Americas, then it had to go along with those funny mushrooms that the hippies starting flocking to in Oaxaca after they resurfaced back in the 60s.
So chia, perhaps the most nutritious food source on the planet, was almost totally eradicated over 500 years ago. They did such a good job of it that none of my Mexican friends had ever heard of chia when I started bringing it up last year.
I’d read Born to Run and chia kept on coming up as the source of the energy that the Tarahumara used to run so fast and so far. They mix chia with pinole (roasted corn meal) and run like the wind and just keep on running and running all day long. I was there in Mexico and running again and I needed chia! The thing is, I had to have a friend coming from the US bring it to me because it was unknown in Sonora, even though it had been gathered there many centuries ago.
Well, one thing led to another and my buddy Curt from Alaska and I drove the first load for planting down into Sonora last May and now I’m off to meet with and bring seed to farmers throughout Sonora and Sinaloa. Chia is back!