In the new exhibition Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture, the American Museum of Natural History explores the complex and intricate food system that brings what we eat from farm to fork. The exhibit includes two large installations of Windowfarms, the namesake product of a start-up enterprise based in Brooklyn and recently featured in the 2012 Slow Money NYC Entrepreneur Showcase.
In sections devoted to growing, transporting, cooking, eating, tasting, and celebrating, the exhibition illuminates the myriad ways that food is produced and moved throughout the world. With opportunities to taste seasonal treats in the working kitchen, 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.
The exhibition starts with an exploration of how our food is grown. Most of the plants and animals we raise for food today barely resemble their wild ancestors. Thousands of years ago, for instance, there was no corn—modern cobs were bred from a wild grass. Today’s global food economy binds us all to the 1 billion people working in agriculture, from a rice farmer in Vietnam to an oyster farmer in France.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the entrance to the Museum’s Judy and Josh Weston Pavilion will feature an 18-foot-tall hydroponic vertical growing system designed and maintained by Windowfarms, a start-up enterprise based in Brooklyn recently featured in the 2012 Entrepreneur Showcase. The 280-plant installation and a smaller unit in the exhibition gallery will grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs to showcase sustainable food-growing techniques and agricultural biodiversity in increasingly urban habitats. Museum admission is free to all New York City school and camp groups.
Suggested general admission, which supports the Museum’s scientific and educational endeavors and offers access to the Museum’s 46 halls including the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is $19 (adults) suggested, $14.50 (students/seniors) suggested, $10.50 (children) suggested. For additional information, the public may call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website at amnh.org.