A team from the University of Illinois recently developed the first high-resolution map of the American food supply chain. The map provides a comprehensive look at how food such as fruits and vegetables, animal feed, and processed food items move between counties in the U.S. Community members can now see their food relationship to other counties across the country and understand the interconnectivity of the American food system.
The map incorporates information from eight different databases and shows that there are more than 9.5 million overall links between counties. The team investigated the amount of food that gets transported between one county and another and found that the majority of the most significant food transportation hubs were in California. Six counties in California were shown to be the most central to the overall structure of the food supply network. In future studies, the research team hopes to evaluate the specific infrastructure that is critical to the American food supply chain.