We take for granted that we can find most crops almost anywhere in the world. Walk into a grocery store and it is likely we’ll find bananas, kiwis, black pepper, corn, and various other spices and produce, regardless of where they originate from, be it Ecuador, New Zealand, Chile, India, Mexico, or somewhere locally.
But that is not as it was. In fact, corn, vanilla, and avocados are native crops to Mexico and Central America, and cacao, tomatoes, and potatoes are native to the Andean region of South America (Island Press, 2009).
Globalization of food production enables us to grow crops outside of their native environments, and while this is convenient, it also has created a greater connection amongst us that we now may take for granted.
The extent of our interconnectedness is awe inspiring. Let me show this by telling you about the origin of black pepper, potatoes, and limes.