The Transcendence of FOOD

The Transcendence of FOOD

If you love food, (which you probably do since you are a human being) and are interested in what you are putting into your body, it is necessary to visit the exhibit at Museo Civico di Storia Naturale. FOOD: La Scienza dai semi al Piatto, which runs until June 28, 2015. In collaboration with 24 ORE Cultura, Comune di Milano and many more. The event is an interactive, informative and innovative experience that is invigorating for any age. 

At its core, food is as alive as we are: constantly evolving and adapting to change. The simple yet complex biological and physiological needs of every human being are to eat, sleep and drink. This is why food is as pervasive as our existence. Food unites and separates us all.

But if you really stop to think about it, what IS food? The exhibit’s purpose was to explain just that. FOOD was divided into 3 main rooms: Grains/Beans/Seeds, Dairy/Meet/Eggs/Coffee and finally (my favorite) a room devoted to the senses. Yet, each room had its own look, feel and interactive experience. The exhibit illustrates the complex history of these products and the difficulties encountered with them before their being integrated into our cuisine. According to the first evidence of the collection of seeds for planting dates back to 10,000 years ago.

In the first room, the journey and evolution of food was conveyed. Food, like human beings has a deep history, which is both entertaining yet mostly unknown. Ingrained (pun intended) in our origins of food and agriculture are seeds. It all starts from seeds. They are the outcome of thousands of years of selection, evolution, and adaptation and are ultimately the basis of our diet. The interactive exhibition allowed visitors to actually turn cashews into liquid. The second room focused on dairy and meats, allowing visitors to interact with specific props.

How sense-succulent our food is. The senses are intrinsically linked with the memory. Moreover, there is no possible way to understand food without our senses. What is quite fascinating is that the variations in culture rely on how we embrace our senses. Consumption of food is not only taste but an integration of all the senses. This brings up the question: is food just a habit? Yet, this exhibit shows that our senses define our judgment, which ultimately shapes our identity. Questions arose: Do we all perceive the same flavors and scents? To what degree does the appearance of food influence its appreciation? Why have we come to enjoy certain foods? Why is it that from childhood people tend to appreciate sweet foods and reject bitter ones, only starting to appreciate bitter foods and beverages such as coffee through a cultural process? Some researchers suggest that evolution may have played a role in our appreciation of the senses.

Food is a blessing of life that we must use as a framework for our existence. I appreciated the exhibits emphasis on the environment as well as people’s expectations and psychology. Some constructive criticism would be to highlight the negative aspects of tampering with our food such as using GMOs, excess amounts of sugar, pesticides on our crops, how the livestock is raised etc. Nature knows exactly what to give us. This exhibit teaches human beings that we need to return to savoring our food rather than just consuming it.

What food can’t you live without? Post on Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #expoincitta and tell us!

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