Kicking Off “Onward: Food”

We’re heading out on the road again. This time, Spencer and I (that’s us up top) are going around the world to report on food. Not just what we eat, but why we eat it, and how it’s grown, prepared, and shipped. Food is, in many ways, the story of humanity and how our species came to dominate our planet. The narrative mixes history and economics and culture. With millions of tentacles in every area of the globe, food production is the biggest industry in the world—worth, according to World Bank estimates, about five trillion dollars each year.

Of course describing food with statistics can make it easy to forget that what we eat is also intensely personal. We craft our entire days around our meals and have some of our most meaningful connections with people while we eat. In the Bible, the term breaking bread doesn’t just refer to sharing a meal with someone, but creating fellowship.

Just some small housekeeping before we start: The sponsor of our travels is Syngenta. We’re grateful for the sponsorship to let us do what we do. But all stories, locations, and decisions about editorial coverage are entirely National Geographic‘s. Our longstanding goal is to tell meaningful stories. We’re going far and wide to find them.

Now help us explore food. We’ll be tweeting, as always, from @DanEnRoute and @Spono. Follow—and use—the hashtag #onward. We’re also keen to hear your food stories: what you eat and why. Tell us what your grandmother used to make for you or the story behind your most valued comfort food. You can even tweet us a photo of your dinner, we won’t judge. Welcome aboard.