In the article, “Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide,” authors Khoury et al. use botany, linguistics, phytogeography and genetic techniques to investigate the origins and relative contributions of food crops to regional cuisines around the world.
Findings show a remarkable degree of interconnectivity between regions of crop origin and the places they are grown and consumed, with 68.7% of national food supplies derived from foreign crops and 69.3% of crops grown being foreign to that location. Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalisation of food systems worldwide, highlighting how we increasingly depend on each others’ plants. The academic paper features interactive visualisations of this interconnectivity that are useful to our work at Appetite and our conversation about authenticity in food.
With the understanding that the majority of food crops originate far from the cuisines where they are now grown and consumed, food history is that much more global. Check out the article here, and visualisations here.