Food Production, Use, and (sometimes) Waste

For the map nerds among us, what could be better than a new map? How about an interactive map? The article above links to an interactive map that allows us to select a food commodity (e.g., almonds, corn (maize), wheat, or beef) and then compare different parts of the world in terms of production, use, or sometimes even waste. For some commodities, the maps can show relative levels of productivity (not just annual production).

At this festive time of the year, it might be interesting to kick back and look at where food comes from and where it is used. Or, for the more serious-minded, think about how climate, land resources, and even type of governance might affect food production, and how local or national customs might affect food consumption. Enjoy!

P.S. My grandfather used to say that a nation is only as wealthy as its farmers. Of course, that was in the day before large agricultural corporations and international land purchases distorted the picture, but the idea that prosperous family-owned farms make a strong contribution to a prosperous national economy still has a ring of truth to it.

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