With our exhibit, we wanted to show museum visitors the energy involved in bringing the food they typically eat to their table. To do this we set our space up like a cafeteria where visitors could pick their meal.
When visitors entered the exhibit, they picked up a tray and walked through the line and picked up cards with pictures of food items on them to chose their "meal". Once they had their meal, they could sit down at one of our tables and look at their choices. On the back of the cards were graphs showing how healthy their food choices were and how much processing was done to the food. There was also a chart on the table comparing all of the food choices so visitors could see how their choices rated amongst the others. While talking with visitors, we explained a food that was more heavily processed required more energy to make than one that was less processed. We had a chart the traced the energy used in food from the time it was grown on the farm until the time it reached your dining table. Some of the food choices, such as an apple, only went through some of the process depicted on the chart. However, a rice crispy treat had to go through the entire process depicted on the chart and required more energy than the apple.
After visitors discovered some of the energy behind their meals, they could take one of our to-go menus with them. On these menus were ideas for more sustainable eating tips and local farmers markets to buy fresh produce. Websites for local environmental organizations were also included.
Because this was our very first run at an exhibit, we were very interested in visitor feedback! We created a feedback board where visitors could post their thoughts. In general, our exhibit was well recepted. The best feedback, we thought, were the comments about how nice everyone was! WE had a great time showcasing all of our hard work to family, friends, and museum patrons. Stay tuned for some changes we will make to the exhibit based on the feedback we received. If you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, come check out Make Choices Market!
The entire album of photos from our exhibit opening can be viewed here