This map was drawn in the nineteenth century by the gifted cartographer Edward Weller. It served to inform the transfer of plant material from its natural habitat to plantations, to be tended by slaves or indentured labour in prototype monocultures.
Ever since Portugal’s brutal exploitation of Madeira for growing sugar (madeira means sugar in Portugese) powerful states have expressed their dominance with an iron grip on the places where food was grown and from where it was shipped to the centres of power and the trading hubs of the world. This blog is a window on to the journey our food makes before it reaches us.
The featured image for this page is a small square of the map showing the British Isles. This was the primary destination for products from what was then the British empire and remains a country with nostalgic dreams of power long since recognised as anachronistic.
Further articles covering the topic of food chains on this and other maps can be found in the mapping category: follow this link.