Museum of Science Presents Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture Opening December 22

December 18, 2013

New Exhibit Follows Food from Farm to Fork

Boston–This winter, the Museum of Science will present Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture, a new, temporary exhibit that explores the complex and intricate food system that brings what we eat from farm to fork.

Developed by the American Museum of Natural History, the exhibit aims to revolutionize the way we think about food. In sections devoted to growing, transporting, cooking, eating, and celebrating, Our Global Kitchen illuminates the myriad ways that food is produced and moved throughout the world. With opportunities to cook a virtual meal, view rare artifacts from the Museum’s collections, and peek into the dining rooms of famous figures throughout history, visitors will experience the intersection of food, nature, culture, health, and history—and consider some of the most challenging issues of our time.

Our Global Kitchen looks at something we all do every day – eat – and encourages visitors to think about the legacy of centuries of farmers that have shaped our foods, the wisdom of cooks to create cuisines, the celebrations and traditions woven across generations and geographies, and how the natural environment supports the foods that we rely on now and in the future,” said David Rabkin, the Museum’s Farinon Director of Current Science and Technology. “The exhibit offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to a subject familiar to all of us, and by peeling away the layers of an experience that may have become routine, visitors will come away with a renewed understanding and appreciation for the food they eat.”

Did you know that most of the plants and animals we raise for food today barely resemble their wild ancestors? Or that once-overlooked plant and animal species such as algae, insects, and quinoa may offer solutions to issues of sustainability and demand? Grow: How Humans Modify Crops, Livestock highlights the numerous – and often controversial – methods growers currently use, as well as potential new growing techniques.

Local cuisine is often the final step of a sweeping global process hundreds of years in the making. Thai curry, French pastries, or Italian pasta may be considered quintessentially Asian or European, but until 500 years ago, no one outside of the Americas had tasted chili peppers, chocolate, or tomatoes. Explore the process that enables this variety in Trade and Transport: How Food is Distributed Around the World. Highlights of the exhibition include a life-size re-creation of a 16th-century Aztec marketplace and a “waste sculpture” containing the amount of food a U.S. family of four wastes per year (1,656 pounds).

Cooking has become a dynamic expression of human creativity, refined through thousands of years across many cultures along with methods such as fermenting, pickling, drying, and smoking. In Cook: How Humans Transformed Food Across Cultures and History, visitors will discover signature dishes from around the world, from Korean kimchi to Moroccan tagine, be transported through smelling, and explore an interactive cooking table.

The dynamic between hunger and obesity is the focus of Eat: Contrasts in Too Little, Too Much. Learn what a week’s worth of groceries includes for families around the world, witness the dining tables of some illustrious individuals, and glimpse historic dishes – from Gandhi’s childhood meal to Michael Phelps’s Olympian-sized breakfast.

In Celebrate: How Food Reflects Culture and Identity, visitors go on a wide-ranging tour of foods that commemorate special occasions, including colorful Ukrainian Easter eggs, sugar skulls from Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and masks made for giant yams by the Abelam people of New Guinea who, at harvest time, display their largest yams in ceremonial dress and then exchange them with one another. A video finale will invite visitors to join celebrations at a Thanksgiving dinner, a Chinese New Year, the Eid feast marking the end of Ramadan, Oktoberfest, and the Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi.

Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture will be presented at the Museum of Science from December 22, 2013 through April 13, 2014. The exhibit is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission: $23 for adults, $21 for seniors (60+), and $20 for children (3-11). For more information, the public can call 617/723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417, or visit mos.org

About the Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. On November 16, the Museum opens the Hall of Human Life, a groundbreaking 10,000-square-foot exhibition drawing from the latest discoveries in the life sciences to engage visitors in their own biology and health. Other 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 over 20,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. 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®'s's engineering curricula have reached over 55,600 teachers and 4.2 million students nationwide. The Museum has also: been recognized by Boston and Cambridge for energy and sustainability efforts; named an Employer of Choice by Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts disability employment initiative; is Yankee Magazine's "Best of New England Readers' Choice" for Cultural Attraction in Science and "Best of New England -- Editors' Choice" for Best Sky Show; and is El Planeta's Best Tourist Attraction for the Massachusetts Latino population. The Museum's Undiscovered Worlds was recognized as the “Best Immersive—Fulldome Program” by the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards. Visit http://www.mos.org. Follow the Museum of Science on Twitter at @MuseumOfScience or Facebook at www.facebook.com/museumofscience.

Press Contacts

AJ Gosselin: 617.589.0251 or agosselin@mos.org
Erin Shannon: 617-589-0250 or eshannon@mos.org

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