For millennia, humans have shaped edible plants, breeding them to produce abundantly and delight our palates. In return, plants have shaped our shared traditions and daily rituals. From spices like pepper to staples like corn, some of the crops we share across cultures have long been at the heart of a global food system that feels increasingly distant to most consumers today. Around the Table brings together many of the foods you know and love—and perhaps some you don’t—to highlight plants as sources of sustenance and carriers of culture, but also sometimes as the products of exploitation—of people and the natural world.
Labor: Often, the work of the people responsible for growing, harvesting, processing, and shipping foods is invisible in our daily lives. Learn about some of the people who make our global food system work—and how our foods move from field to plate.
Innovation: Scientists, farmers, and even backyard gardeners are always tweaking the plants they grow and the ways they grow them. Here, explore new innovations in crop science and agriculture.
Staple Food: Staple foods are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and provide a large portion of our daily caloric intake. These aren’t the only foods we eat, but they’re generally something we eat every day to feel full and energized.
Grow at Home: From the sunny window of a cramped New York apartment, to a plot in a local community garden or backyard, pick up tips on easy-to-grow food plants for any space.
Featured Art: 30 Bronx artists have painted, carved, and even crocheted their personal stories about food onto picnic tables displayed throughout grounds. Explore them here through the edible plants they feature.
Environmental Impact: The production of some food plants has more of an impact on the Earth than others. Learn about crops whose widespread cultivation is becoming unsustainable, and explore forward-thinking solutions in cultivation and farming.