Hungry? Try the Bell Museum

Ideally, you would read this post while you eat something — maybe the turkey sandwich you ordered for lunch. Or, if you are in Bangkok, the deep-fried grasshopper you bought from a street vendor. Or, if you are in Morocco, the salad you dressed with Argan oil extracted from a seed that passed through a goat.

There is a wealth of science as well as fascinating variety behind the ordinary fare people around the world lift to their mouths every day with forks, chopsticks and fingers. Now you can explore that science in a new exhibit and a corresponding weekly program at the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural History.

The exhibit, “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats,” is based on the best-selling book by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio. It explores the dinner tables of families around the world and links the food to scientific topics ranging from the anthropology of table manners to the evolution of plants to the economics of grocery shopping.  

The exhibit’s opening reception at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, will feature snack foods from many cultures around the world. In addition, every Thursday evening during the exhibit’s 26-week run, the museum will host programs on food-related topics including presentations by university experts and local food gurus.

In the exhibit, Menzel’s large format photos of outdoor markets, restaurants and kitchen tables from around the globe provide the backdrop for displays of real food products. Museum visitors also can contribute photos of their own family dinners for posting on a digital display within the exhibit.

The Thursday evening events are free with museum admission. The Bell Museum is located at 10 Church St. SE., Minneapolis. For more information, go hereYou also can see a Time magazine video related to the book here.

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