Origin: Regions of Cultivation for Our Most Common Foods

Origin: Regions of Cultivation for Our Most Common Foods

The majority of our foods originated from a surprisingly small number of places on earth. This map attempts to show the contributions of each region where we first began to cultivate the plants that would go on to sustain us for many thousands of years. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains and nuts were first domesticated in as early as 8,500 bc in the fertile crescent – a region which fueled the advancement of humans with an abundance of edible (and tameable) plants and animals. Other regions followed with the evolution and migration of man and his farming practices. Today we enjoy these common food items throughout the world because of the happy accidents that occurred in these few special regions.

Please note that the data supporting this diagram is continually evolving (and variable based on source). 

Food origin data collected from: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond  ©1997
San Francisco State University: culinary botany online resource  2001
Cabbages and Kings by Jonathan Roberts  ©2001

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Posted Oct 7, 2010
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