General Article Diversity, waste, and travel: what globalisation means for food

Topic Selected: Globalisation Book Volume: 416
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Foreign, exotic foods have become staples in our households, but at what cost?

By Shreya Banerjee

For many people, being at home during lockdown means that there is an abundance of time to spend preparing, eating, and thinking about food. Combined with the population’s increased dependence on home cooking due to the closure of restaurants, it seems there is no better time to consider where the products we label as essential originate from, the extent to which our diets have become international and the effects of this.

Food trade has played a significant role in the history of globalisation, as it has allowed for cultural exchange for thousands of years. From the transporting of spices along the Silk Road, to the potatoes being imported from the Andes to Ireland in 1589 by Sir Walter Raleigh, one could argue that humanity has been sharing and adapting to new crops for a very long time ­– after all, it took only 16 years for the potato to become widely farmed throughout Europe. But ...

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