Chia Cartel delivers some babies competitive edge


Chia Cartel delivers some babies competitive edge

An armed guard delivers Ugandan chia seeds to an investment bank in Manhattan on Wednesday. (Photo: Richard Omega/DG)

Has anyone else noticed the sudden scarcity of Ugandan Purple (UP) chia seeds? If you can even find this elusive product it will cost you upwards of $350 for a 12-ounce bag.  And just yesterday, futures trading in UP was suspended because all outstanding quantities had been acquired by the shadowy, New York City-based Chia Cartel. What’s going on? The answer involves pregnant women residing within Manhattan and Brooklyn’s most affluent neighborhoods.

We’ve read about parents obsessed with getting their children into the “right” college by getting them into the right “Baby Ivy” preschool ($28,000 a year), highly selective, private kindergarten, and then the New England prep schools that feed into the Ivy League.

Parents are frantically hiring tutors — at $400 per hour — to coach babies as young as eight months for play-date “interviews” at top-tier nursery schools. Competition is intense with 100 applicants for every dozen openings. Other parents are seeking a critical edge long before giving birth. Enter Ugandan chia.

Recent research confirms that the Ugandan variety, only grown in the Luwero Valley’s optimal soil and climate conditions, is the gold standard for obtaining the maximum benefits from chia’s Omega-3 fatty acids. The posh set, well-versed in the science of fetal brain development, knows that a child’s intelligence and IQ are heavily influenced while still in utero.

The cerebral cortex — location of thinking and remembering — requires certain nutrients, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. The takeaway? Daily consumption of three tablespoons of UG powder virtually guarantees these babies a 3-4 month head start at birth.

After receiving an inside tip, I discovered that not only has the cartel bought up all Luwero Valley farmland, but expectant parents are methodically stockpiling UP.  My interviewees acknowledged this hoarding was as much to deny any advantages to other upper-class, pregnant women as for their own consumption.

Asked whether he had any qualms about engaging in this behavior, one Wall Street hedge fund manager replied, “To refrain from cornering the Ugandan chia market, especially given our family’s financial resources, would be tantamount to child neglect, being irresponsible stewards of our inherited wealth and failing to conscientiously pursue the American Dream.”

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