Global food supply chains are assembled through trails of smoke and mirrors. Consider the stories that New York City’s food sector sells about itself. On the one hand, there is Chelsea Market, a pricey, gentrified downtown hall owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., that peddles the romance of authenticity, craft production, and all things slow and local to elite tourists and tech workers from the Google offices next door. On the other hand, 11 miles away in the South Bronx lies the actual heart of the city’s food supply. In place of the carefully choreographed ombre of fresh herbs and local cheeses and the farmhouse chic aesthetic, Hunt’s Point food terminals offer a decidedly gray and concrete terrain of warehouses and distribution centers. The slow-moving buses that make stops in this vast industrial landscape carry only the precarious...

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