Italy and pasta. Greece and feta. Australia and kangaroos. Those are the usual connections that jump on the mind when thinking of these three countries, but what is in the mind and what is in real life can be very different.
A 2011 article by Investopedia published some interesting findings about the exporting that happens on our global market. For instance, you would never guess that Italy surpasses New Zealand in exporting kiwis by 50 million tons!
And that salty cube of deliciousness sitting on top of your salad. It might have a Greek name, Feta, but it most likely came from Canada. The vast farmlands and a less expensive option has helped Canada surpass Greece as a global exporter of feta.
Or how about the camel meat that comes from Australia? Despite kangaroo being a big symbol for the country “down under“, sometimes even making it on a few plates in the form of a stake, it is the camel that gets the spotlight. Without any natural predators the camel population has been growing and growing and soon could reach the peak of the meat exportation chart.
But let’s take a look at America. Around the world it gets a bad name for its culture of fast food and soda. The famous staples like Coca Cola and McDonalds can be found in the hardest to reach places of the world. For example, a 3 liter Coca Cola bottles are already being flown into the Amazonian communities of Ecuador because the locals like to drink it. Yet, don’t be too quick to judge. Turns out America is also an exporter of something very healthy, ginseng. Yes, the widely used plant in Chinese culture is shipped from the USA anually by 60 tonnes. If you’re wondering why you haven’t noticed this it might be a problem of location. Most of it is grown in Wisconsin.
Another interesting mention is of whiskey from Japan, which has won numerous blind tastings and scored hire than Scottish whiskey. With so many shocking facts it might be time for us to stop assuming things about our food system and start taking a closer look at it. Who knows what else we might find?