By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

The resurrection of chia as a hugely beneficial functional food is occurring today as more people continue to discover its benefits and rely on it to provide energy, strength, and endurance again. This is thanks to Dr. Wayne Coates’s efforts in bringing the seed back to commercialization so that more people can benefit from it.

Coates led a project in the early 1990s in Argentina that had a mission of looking for alternative crops for farmers. He tested a number of different crops to see if any would have commercial value for farmers in the region.

When he tested chia and learned about its great nutritional profile and health benefits, he concentrated on chia and spent years researching the seed and developing the techniques and machinery needed to grow it on a commercial scale. It’s thanks to Coates’s efforts that we can all benefit from chia today.

Coates still has the goal of bringing chia to as many people as possible at reasonable prices, and he’s dedicating his research to this goal. He has written books on chia and continues to educate farmers on how to grow the crop well and ensure that it is cleaned properly before it makes its way to market.

He is hugely influential in trying to make sure that only high-quality chia makes it to people’s tables. His own brand of high-quality chia is AZChia, and he sources and approves chia seeds for Chia bia.