Map Your Food
For lovers of geography, and of the sociology of food, “Food: an atlas” offers lots of informative and curious distraction. The crowd-sourced and crowd-funded book was first published online and in a limited press edition months ago; it’s available as a softbound, coffee-table-sized book or simply downloaded online, here. It’s all about food origins, distribution, security, accessibility and identity, how food is processed, and on some level, food potential. A collaboration of “guerrilla cartographers” did the mapping; funding came from a Kickstarter campaign.
The Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab provided several of the maps: Commodity agriculture and subsidies; food production, and potential rooftop farming in New York City; land availability in New York City. There’s lots of earnest and thought-provoking data. And then there’s “The World According to Chile Peppers,” “The American Beershed” and a map of Mushroom Farms in the U.S. The pages range from very global to very idiosyncratic and local: a page on the Amazonian “superfood” Oenocarpus bataua, a map of fruit trees the public can pick from in a Copenhagen neighborhood; taboo foods of the world; the taco trucks of East Oakland, Calif.
And it’s interactive: Toward the back of the book you’ll find “Mission: Explore Food Cartography” that borrows a few challenges from another food book and website and encourages you to map out your own worlds of food.