Culinary Cartographies
Culinary Cartographies is a participatory mapping project about the bio-geography of everyday supermarket food. Fresh fruits are today available at all seasons, nicely packaged on the supermarket shelves in most western countries. Yet these fruits show few signs of their global journeys and their relation to food politics and the issues of food justice.
Not only has our food lost its references to the changing seasons, it is also mute about the socio-technical relationships that produces today's industrial food web. Culinary Cartographies is an attempt to trace some of these journeys and relationships in order to explore how our plate is a map of current geopolitics.
apple web
In the project, fresh produce is traced to expose how our food travels to reach our plate. Together with local school children, a map is produced with forged paper fruits from the fresh produce. The map of fruits turns the supermarket itself into a global representation, or a “fruit-planetary”, exposing the distances between the place of origin and the local plate. Starting from our own everyday shopping experience may start trying to grasp the complex webs of today’s food geographies.

  Fruit mobile in Trondheim
In a post-Malthusian world, where population growth seems to be matched by growing agricultural productivity, we still see little of the how our local supermarket is deeply intertwined with global oil prices, soil erosion, civil wars on foreign continents, deforestation, elections and farm subsidies. In Culinary Cartographies we aim to expose such politics into the shops themselves, using consumer culture as a vector into everyday cooking.
Food politics is infested with issues a multitude of debated issues, but the everyday consumer cannot see them in the store. Issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), chemical fertilizers, soil acidification and land grabbing still reaches our plate. How are we to recognize the political paths we can mobilize around to make change?
Lemon politics
Who governs the world food system, and what influence can we have on it?
Possible discussion topics:
- Poverty, famine and obesity: Globally, more people are overweight than starving
- Food justice: The geography of processed vs fresh produce
- Fruits and nature: Human-engineered produce (seedless, water content etc)
- The politics of fresh produce: Food miles, taxes and subsidies
- Critical calories: Largest environmental impact where fruit is consumed
The Culinary Cartographies zine: download
  Culinary cartographies zine


Culinary Cartographies presented at Bastard festival, Theatre Avant Garden, Trondheim, curated by Per Ananiassen and Gry Ulfeng, and big thanks to the amazing six-graders at Åsvang school, Trondheim.