Origins of Food

Discover this history behind your food.

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How Potatoes Shape Our Past, Present, and Future
Article History & Culture

How Potatoes Shape Our Past, Present, and Future

Annabel Slater

For such simple-seeming tubers, potatoes have been hugely influential in shaping our history. But…

Aquaculture Feed: Is There Enough to go Around?
Article History & Culture

Aquaculture Feed: Is There Enough to go Around?

Madhura Rao

Aquaculture plays a critical role in today’s food system. It provides consumers around the…

Mycophobia and the Lost Knowledge of the Fungi Kingdom
Article History & Culture

Mycophobia and the Lost Knowledge of the Fungi Kingdom

Jonáš Skutka

When it comes to wild mushrooms, Europe shows an interesting split in the way different nations and…

Managing Our Oceans: A Small-Scale Approach
Article History & Culture

Managing Our Oceans: A Small-Scale Approach

Jessica Tengvall

In order to sustainably manage many of our large scale fisheries, we need data, scientists to…

Ancient Farming Systems | Ask the Expert
Article History & Culture

Ancient Farming Systems | Ask the Expert

Madhura Rao, Dr Shyama Vermeersch

Did ancient civilisations farm differently from us? Did they struggle with similar issues as we do…

Cheap Seafood | The Social Cost of Production
Article The Future

Cheap Seafood | The Social Cost of Production

Madhura Rao

Many workers employed onboard offshore fishing vessels have been subjected to unsafe working…

Sustainable Fishing Levels & Quotas | How It Works
Article The Future

Sustainable Fishing Levels & Quotas | How It Works

Jessica Tengvall

For decades, growing consumer demand and a lack of clear fisheries restrictions contributed to the…

The Ethics of Foie Gras
Article Inside Our Food

The Ethics of Foie Gras

Claudia Lee

A symbol of "haute cuisine", the story of foie gras began millennia ago in Ancient Egypt. Produced…

5 Lessons Agriculture Can Learn From Ecology
Article The Future

5 Lessons Agriculture Can Learn From Ecology

Emiliano Guijosa Guadarrama

The agricultural systems that provide us with our food today may seem different from…

What Are Soba Noodles?
Article Inside Our Food

What Are Soba Noodles?

Samanta Oon

There’s lots to love about soba noodles. They’re light but hearty, flavourful yet mild,…

Ocean Transportation: What It Takes To Ship Our Food
Article Human Stories

Ocean Transportation: What It Takes To Ship Our Food

Jane Alice Liu

Ocean transportation underpins the majority of global trade, with around 80 per cent of our goods…

Expanding The Gaze Of Modern Fisheries Management
Article Human Stories

Expanding The Gaze Of Modern Fisheries Management

Oliver Fredriksson, Dr Andrea Reid

Dr Andrea Reid is a citizen of the Nisgaꞌa Nation, an Assistant Professor of Indigenous…

The Environmental Impacts of Greenhouse Agriculture in Almería, Spain
Article History & Culture

The Environmental Impacts of Greenhouse Agriculture in Almería, Spain

Inés Oort Alonso

If you look at a satellite image of Spain, you will observe a white dot in the South East of the…

Why Trust In Our Food System Matters
Article The Future

Why Trust In Our Food System Matters

Marie Lödige

Trust is very personal, and we all define it a little bit differently. Most often, we associate…

Farming The Food Chain | Low Trophic Aquaculture
Article The Future

Farming The Food Chain | Low Trophic Aquaculture

Oliver Fredriksson

If I said ‘seafood’ to you, what springs to mind? Chances are ‘low trophic’…

Invention of the Fork | How Did Forks Come to Be?
Article History & Culture

Invention of the Fork | How Did Forks Come to Be?

Madhura Rao

In several food cultures around the world, eating food with a fork is so common that most diners…

Crop Diversity: Why It Matters
Article History & Culture

Crop Diversity: Why It Matters

Lina Dilly

The FAO estimates that we lost 75% of our crop diversity during the 20th century. This trend is…

What Are Rice Noodles and How Are They Made?
Article Inside Our Food

What Are Rice Noodles and How Are They Made?

Samanta Oon

Rice is one of the most important grains in Asian cuisine. It is so important that in several Asian…

Phosphorus | How It Impacts Food Security
Article History & Culture

Phosphorus | How It Impacts Food Security

Madhura Rao

Have you heard of phosphorus? It's a naturally abundant mineral, essential for the growth of plants.…

Can Fisheries Ever Be Sustainable? | Ask The Expert
Article The Future

Can Fisheries Ever Be Sustainable? | Ask The Expert

Oliver Fredriksson, Dr. Ray Hilborn

The narrative around the sustainability of fisheries is often characterised by alarming statistics…

How Should We Regulate Genome-Edited Crops? | Opinion
Article The Future

How Should We Regulate Genome-Edited Crops? | Opinion

Rebecca Nesbit

Humans have been modifying crop genetics for millennia, but in recent years this practice has…

Tony’s Chocolonely: More Than Just Chocolate
Article Human Stories

Tony’s Chocolonely: More Than Just Chocolate

Jane Alice Liu, Paul Schoenmakers

Tony's Chocolonely isn't your average chocolate company. Behind each of their chocolate bars is a…

How Fairtrade Impacts the West African Cocoa Industry | Ask the Expert
Article Human Stories

How Fairtrade Impacts the West African Cocoa Industry | Ask the Expert

Marieke van Schoonhoven

Cocoa farmers are terribly underpaid in West Africa. The majority of farmers in Ghana and Côte…

Does Fairtrade Really Work?
Article Human Stories

Does Fairtrade Really Work?

Jane Alice Liu

The Fairtrade certification system was created to support and empower marginalised small-scale…

What is the True Cost of Milk Production?
Article The Future

What is the True Cost of Milk Production?

Katharina Kropshofer

Milk has been harvested for more than 11,000 years, when shepherds in the Middle East started to…

Turkey at Christmas | The Origins of Christmas Dinner
Article History & Culture

Turkey at Christmas | The Origins of Christmas Dinner

Aran Shaunak

Christmas dinner is a central part of the festive celebrations, but what counts as a traditional…

Human Rights in the Food System | Ask the Expert
Article Human Stories

Human Rights in the Food System | Ask the Expert

Madhura Rao, Dr. Nadia Bernaz

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality,…

Traditional Soy Sauce Brewing | A Portrait in the Netherlands
Article Inside Our Food

Traditional Soy Sauce Brewing | A Portrait in the Netherlands

Kim Verhaeghe

You don't need to travel to Japan to see how soy sauce is made. In Rotterdam, Thomas Uljee and his…

Imported Organic Food | Do They Meet EU Organic Standards?
Article Human Stories

Imported Organic Food | Do They Meet EU Organic Standards?

Kevin Thellmann, Michael Bregler

How much of the organic food supply in the EU is imported? Are the high European standards for…

How To Use Chopsticks
Article History & Culture

How To Use Chopsticks

Samanta Oon

You may pick up a pair of chopsticks to slurp up some noodles or enjoy a plate of sushi. But far…

Milk Production | What Really Drives the Price of Milk?
Article The Future

Milk Production | What Really Drives the Price of Milk?

Katharina Kropshofer

More milk, fewer farmers and a sinking demand - discover why has the price of milk been falling, and…

Olive Oil: The Science Behind Health Benefits
Article Inside Our Food

Olive Oil: The Science Behind Health Benefits

Julianna Photopoulos

Olive oil is a key part of the Mediterranean diet, thought to have health benefits such as lowering…

What is Chai? | Masala Chai Recipe
Article History & Culture

What is Chai? | Masala Chai Recipe

Nandini Tengvall

Where does chai originate from and how do you make your own masala chai?

Garam Masala | Origin of Indian Spices
Article History & Culture

Garam Masala | Origin of Indian Spices

Nandini Tengvall

Many Westerners only know the generic British term "curry", but there's so much more to Indian…

The History of Ice Cream | From Milk Ice to Magnums
Article History & Culture

The History of Ice Cream | From Milk Ice to Magnums

Aran Shaunak

The chime of a trusty local ice cream van brings a smile to the faces of children the world over -…

Pollination | How It Works
Article History & Culture

Pollination | How It Works

Madhura Rao

Almost all life on Earth depends on plants, but it turns out plants are just as dependent on animals…

Tomatoes in Italy: The Social Cost of Production
Article Human Stories

Tomatoes in Italy: The Social Cost of Production

Silvia Lazzaris

Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in many homes across Europe, but the story of how they reach your…

4 Modern Foods That Are Actually Ancient
Article History & Culture

4 Modern Foods That Are Actually Ancient

Silvia Lazzaris, Aran Shaunak

Did you know that hot dogs and ketchup were invented in Ancient Rome? And that popcorn and pancakes…

Battery Farms | The Story Behind Your Eggs
Article History & Culture

Battery Farms | The Story Behind Your Eggs

Annabel Slater

Take a close look next time you take a box of eggs from the supermarket shelf. Do you know where or…

Ancient Food Safety: A Story of Ice and Fire
Article History & Culture

Ancient Food Safety: A Story of Ice and Fire

Aran Shaunak

Food is delicious and nutritious, but one bad meal could kill you. Throughout the ages, new…

Why is Himalayan Salt so Pink?
Article Inside Our Food

Why is Himalayan Salt so Pink?

Lottie Bingham

Often gifted as a housewarming present, found on the tables of up-market restaurants, and in the…

Himalayan Pink Salt: Healthier or Hoax?
Article Earth First

Himalayan Pink Salt: Healthier or Hoax?

Lottie Bingham

Numerous sources tout the many and varied health benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt – but is…

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