In Brief

Researchers create interactive visuals to depict how food travels great distances to reach a plate

In this interconnected world, globalization means crops that are not locally in season are becoming increasingly available. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture undertook a project to uncover the origin of crops and study how far food travels. Data was utilized to create an interactive map and visuals that assist readers in viewing all this information. The researchers found that nearly 70% of crops in food supplies and food systems are foreign.

They also found that the consumption of foreign crops have increasingly grown over time. Countries are becoming more interdependent on each other in regards to their individual food supplies. Farms continue to specialize in the type of crops they produce, making the direct farm-to-table approach a difficult reality. In addition, they were able to locate the primary regions that provide crops. All of this information can be found in their interactive maps and charts.

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