After author Kelsey Timmerman brilliantly documented his travels to the origins of everything he was wearing in Where Am I Wearing?, he is at at again, this time traveling to the origins of five common foods.
In 2009, reports Timmerman, the US government required Country of Origin Labeling on most foods.
“I was amazed at how global our diet had become,” he says. “The local / farmerâ€™s market movement is growing, but not as fast as the global food movement. In the past decade weâ€™ve doubled the amount of food we import. Before I ate anything I started to ask myselfâ€¦. Where Am I Eating? and I looked for the labels.”
His new book, Where Am I Eating? debuted on Earth Day, 2013.
The labels, maintains Timmerman, connect consumer with producer. Go ahead, make a list of all the countries right now from your clothing labels or food packaging. It’s probably a pretty enticing list to a traveler. Timmerman went one step furtherâ€”he went to these places and collected stories to share. His itinerary:
“I followed my Starbucks coffee to Colombia…
I followed my Dole banana to Costa Rica…
I followed my chocolate bar to the Ivory Coast…
I met untrained divers in Nicaragua who dive deeper and deeper in search of a declining population of lobster. 100% of the divers have diving injuries.
In China, I dined with an apple farmerâ€™s daughter at a swanky 10th floor restaurant overlooking Shanghai.”
In each of these places, Timmerman doesn’t just describe the life of a typical banana picker or lobster diver. He delves deeply into the back stories behind our ingredients, always trying to track down the lowest common denominators in the systemâ€”i.e. the farmers and factory workersâ€”and give them a voice. To accomplish this, the intrepid author devotes multiple chapters to each section, weaving his own adventures with his research, interviews, travel tales, and most importantly, beautiful portraits of people who he meets.
Two thumbs up from this traveling eater. Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/uyBU8K1ZoCM