Museum of Science Launches New Initiative and Public Program Series, Let's Talk About Food
September 29, 2010
Museum invites visitors to explore what we eat and why it matters with events, evening discussions, and a waterfront cooking lesson with Boston's best chefs
BOSTON (September 28, 2010) — This harvest season, New Englanders will discover the savory side of science when the Museum of Science launches Let's Talk About Food, a celebration and exploration of what we eat and why it matters. Under this new initiative, the Museum will present an ongoing series of public programs that spotlight how food influences our culture and shapes our health and environment.
Starting October 2010, the Museum invites visitors to explore the art, science, and culture of food from varied perspectives, alongside culinary luminaries like Mark Bittman, Jody Adams, Corby Kummer, and Tiffani Faison. Fall programs will include a waterfront cooking lesson with Boston's best chefs; a screening of the film, FRESH; and a program that will challenge high school students to design a healthy, tasty, and planet-friendly school lunch with the help of urban gardening experts, nutritionists, and Craigie on Main Chef Tony Maws. At citizen discussion group events, including a forum moderated by Adam Ragusea of WBUR-FM, the public will carefully consider food system issues like health and nutrition, food security, food access, fisheries, and land use, and make informed recommendations about what solutions should be implemented. In spring 2011 the Museum will share these recommendations with policymakers, stakeholders, and the broader public — and celebrate with an outdoor festival of food and science.
"The Museum strives to inspire visitors to explore how current science and technology are integral in shaping our culture. We're thrilled to welcome the public to the Museum's 'endless table' for this open conversation and examination of food through the scientific lenses of health and sustainability," said Museum president & director Ioannis Miaoulis. Miaoulis, a former dean of the School of Engineering at Tufts University, developed a course called Gourmet Engineering and is passionate about the science and technology behind food and cooking. "Food shapes our lives, culture, and world in complex and unpredictable ways. We hope that the Let's Talk About Food initiative will help demystify important aspects of the food system and inspire discussion that will lead to future solutions."
Earlier this year as part of its current science and technology offerings, the Museum presented public programs focused on food to enthusiastic crowds. In response to the popularity of these programs and public interest in the topic, the Museum created a two-year series dedicated to the exploration of food issues. Writer and journalist Louisa Kasdon, who moderated the Museum's panel discussion at a packed screening of the film, Food Inc. last spring, has joined Let's Talk About Food as project consultant.
"Everyone needs to, and loves to talk about food. But we need to bring together all aspects of the food discussion under one Big Tent, where everything from discussions on what to do about obesity, the pros and cons of farmed fish, the mysteries of molecular gastronomy, the science of taste, and the issues of sustainability, food security and food safety—can be explored in an enlightened, educated and entertaining forum," said Kasdon. She added, "I believe that this museum has a unique opportunity to be that Big Tent and to lead the way for other science museums across the country."
While developing this initiative, the Museum invited feedback from diverse members of the New England food community, including representatives from farmer's markets, restaurants, government, non-profits, schools and universities, culinary writers, filmmakers, and medical professionals. Their perspectives and contributions will help shape the topics and events that the Museum will present in the next two years.
LET'S TALK ABOUT FOOD: PROGRAM INFORMATION
Food for Thought: What's For Lunch?
Part of the Museum's High School Science Series
Friday, October 8, 10 a.m.
Nutritionists, public health researchers, scientists, and chefs outline the issues concerning school lunches, health, sustainability, and food justice. Through hands-on activities, 300 high school students will learn skills for making better choices about food: how do you create an urban garden; what are properties of the nutritional components in popular foods; and how does graphic information system (GIS) mapping of food systems show the path food takes to your table? Mayor Thomas M. Menino will welcome students, and Chef Tony Maws (Craigie on Main) will work with kids to make and deconstruct a simple, delicious, and affordable meal. Students had the opportunity to make recommendations for improving school lunches, and one student's submission will win them the chance to cook side-by-side with a master chef at the Citizen Chefs Meet Boston's Best event taking place the next day. Supported in part by the Lowell Institute.
Food for Thought: Setting the Agenda
Friday, October 8, 7 p.m. Free
Lilian Cheung, director, health promotion and communication, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health and co-author, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life; and Karen Spiller, project director, Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, Boston Public Health Commission. Moderated by Adam Ragusea, WBUR.
Food is a basic human need and connects our biology with our culture. As demand for food increases, so does the impact on our planet and our health. How safe is the food we eat? What critical issues face our food supply? Listen to a panel discussion about the current state of our food system, then participate in a discussion about future solutions. Print media sponsors: Stuff Magazine and The Phoenix. Radio sponsor: WFNX
Citizen Chefs Meet Boston's Best,
Saturday, October 9; 10:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. Free
Jody Adams, Cheftestant, Bravo TV's Top Chef Masters and chef/owner, Rialto; Chris Douglass, executive chef/owner, Tavolo and Ashmont Grill; Tiffani Faison, Top Chef finalist, contestant in this year's "Top Chef All-Stars" and chef, Rocca; Rahul Moolgaonkar, executive chef, Wolfgang Puck Catering, Museum of Science; Jason Santos, contestant, Hell's Kitchen and executive chef, Gargoyles on the Square; and Ana Sortun, cheftestant, Bravo TV's Top Chef Masters and chef/owner, Oleana. With experts Kathy McManus, Department of Nutrition Director at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Edith Murnane, Food Policy Director for the City of Boston. Emceed by Annie B. Copps, senior food editor for Yankee Magazine
Imagine getting a cooking lesson from the most celebrated chefs in the city. Some of Boston's best chefs, including Jody Adams, Jason Santos, Ana Sortun, and Chris Douglass, working side-by-side with citizen cooks, share their secrets for success while preparing a meal in the Museum's picturesque waterfront pavilion. Each culinary couple will create a delicious, healthy meal that is planet-friendly and can be prepared at home. Experts will then discuss the meals through the scientific lenses of nutrition and sustainability and offer tips for great cooking at home. Print media sponsors: Stuff Magazine and The Phoenix. Radio sponsor: WFNX
"Like" the Museum of Science on Facebook for a Chance to Cook with a Celebrity Chef!
Submit by Tuesday, October 5; Winner announced Wednesday, October 6
Ever dream of cooking with a celebrity chef? Clueless about how to create meals that are delicious, planet-friendly, and affordable? The Museum of Science is giving its Facebook fans a chance to cook side-by-side with one of Boston's master chefs, including Jody Adams (Rialto), Chris Douglass (Ashmont Grill/Tavolo), Tiffani Faison (Rocca), Jason Santos (Gargoyles on the Square), and Ana Sortun (Oleana), at the Citizen Chefs Meet Boston's Best event, Saturday, October 9, 10 a.m. — 12 p.m. "Like" us on Facebook then tell or show us why you should be chosen on facebook.com/museumofscience by October 5; extra points for photos, video, or recipes! A winner will be announced on October 6.
Food on Film Presents FRESH
Saturday, October 9; 1:00 p.m. Free
Hosted by Corby Kummer, host, The Atlantic Food Channel and author, The Pleasures of Slow Food; discussion with Julie A. Burba, certified culinary professional, Cambridge School of Culinary Arts; Hannah Freedberg, development and outreach director, Mass Farmers Markets; and JJ Gonson, personal chef and food activist, Cuisine en Locale
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers, and business people across America who are reinventing our food system. Each has witnessed firsthand the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Advocating healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for the future of our food and our planet. FRESH is the first of many films the Museum will present over the coming year that explore the art, science, culture, and critical issues related to that delicious essential of our lives: food. Seating is limited. Passes are available in the Museum lobby beginning at 12:30 p.m. on October 9. Additional funding provided by the Barbara and Malcolm L. Sherman Fund for Adult Programs and by the David and Marion Ellis Endowment Fund.
Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating
With Mark Bittman, bestselling author and TV personality
Wednesday, November 3; 7 p.m. $28
Mark Bittman is known for his no-nonsense style and no-frills approach to cooking. Drawing links between diet, health, and climate change, the popular food writer shows us how our bodies and our planet are paying the price for overproduction and overconsumption of food. In Food Matters, Bittman takes the mystery out of what terms like "organic" and "agricultural sustainability" mean to focus on what small, but powerful things we can do to eat in an environmentally responsible and budget-friendly way. He explains how to eat more consciously and to become less reliant on animal products and nutritionally worthless food. By making simple adjustments to his diet, Bittman lost 35 pounds, improved his health, and reduced his carbon footprint. Join us for an evening that will make you rethink your relationship with food. Tickets for the general public go on sale Thursday, September 30 at the Museum box office, by phone at 617-723-2500, and online at store.mos.org. This program is part of the Celebrity Science Series, spotlighting luminaries of science, technology, and culture, and the Let's Talk About Food series, inviting visitors to find out how food influences our culture and shapes our health and environment. Funding provided by the Reno Family Foundation. Sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.
Your World, Our Story: Be Part of a New Exhibit
Website launches September 29
The Museum is planning a new gallery experience: one that is built by you! In the new Hall of Human Life, your participation will be key to the exhibit's message on human health and biology, and you can get started by submitting to our new site today. The exhibit focuses on five areas that reflect our role in a changing environment: food, physical forces, living organisms, social experiences, and time. First up is food -- one of our lifelines as humans. Send us your photos and videos that show us not just what you're eating, but its impact on you and your environment: how does food change you? How do you impact your food environment through your eating habits? How does this vary amongst other people, or in different parts of the world? Give us some context by describing your submission in 100 words or less. Your multimedia story could be selected to appear both on this website and in the new exhibit! Get started: mos.org/create
Let's Talk About Food is supported by Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare. A complete list of events is available at mos.org/food. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit mos.org/food or call 617-723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417.
About the Museum of Science, Boston
The Museum takes a hands-on approach to science, engineering, math, and technology, attracting about 1.5 million visitors a year via its programs and 700 interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a multi-museum, $20 million National Science Foundation-funded nanotechnology education initiative. The Museum's "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy® aims to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages and inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and scientists. Visit http://www.mos.org.
Sofiya Cabalquinto: 617/589-0251 or email@example.com
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Let's Talk About Food on Twitter: #mosfood or @museumofscience
Let's Talk About Food on Facebook: facebook.com/museumofscience