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Tracking where your food comes from

macaroni and cheese.jpg

Curious where the ingredients in a food item on your shelf come from? Public Radio Kitchen did a feature yesterday on, an amazing-sounding tool that can help you find out:

Users of Sourcemap input data on a product, namely the ingredients and where they originated. The site then generates an interactive, full-color map illustrating the supply chain. Such users include [co-creators Leonardo Bonanni and Matthew Hockenberry], plus a team of volunteer researchers and students from MIT and beyond (new volunteers are welcome to sign up on the website).

In her blog entry, writer Laura Bulgrin shows how Sourcemap, which also focuses on non-food products, was used to trace the origin of the 20 ingredients in a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. (As it turns out, the ingredients come from "as far away as China, Switzerland and West Africa.") And she explains the motivation of the site's creators:

“We want our consumers to have the right to know, when they look at a product, where it comes from, what it’s made of and what the social and the environmental impact is,” Bonanni said.

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography

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