Chia seeds – not just for winter holidays!

The much-maligned and also cherished “Chia pets” sold during Christmas hide the former high value of Chia seeds as a currency and nourishment. As with all monies, first came the chia’s primary use as a food, then its second use as a medium of exchange.

Chia is a natural energy source, rich with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, considered an “essential” fatty acid, since the human body cannot make them. Many view Chia seeds as a super food.

The Aztec Indians used them as a natural source of energy and, according to a friend, in ceremonies. Due to the seed’s value, the Aztecs also used them as money. A friend said the Spanish invaders outlawed the seeds because they were used in ceremonies. This may partly explain why the seeds have not been popular for centuries.

Even today Chia seeds are costly. My same friend mentioned one pound costs 10 grains of gold (about $20 at $1120/ounce) at Whole Foods. Get them for less on Amazon.

Stock up on Chia seeds because you can eat them and trade with them. Try eating a Federal Reserve Note.

The Aztecs also used Cocoa beans as money. The trade for one small rabbit was 30 beans. According to the book, The History of Money, some people debased the currency by prying open the seeds, removing (or eating) the chocolate, filling the seeds with another substance, sealing them up, and mixing them in with uncorrupted seeds. So if you think only Federal Reserve steals your wealth, know that for centuries people have used currency asĀ  means to steal.

Convert your local national currency into cocoa beans via the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (11% Cocoa) or ETFS Cocoa. To convert your national currency into chia seeds, visit a health food store or Amazon.

See our list of products used as money.

Learn more about Monetary Choice.

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