As the World Eats

From 2018-2020, the castles at Hof and Niederweiden will be tackling the question, Why do we eat the way we do? in three interactive special exhibits

From March 15- November 18, the subject of the first exhibit will be food production. The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal husbandry is the origin of today’s food production.

The three exhibits elucidate the history, present and future of food. Starting with production, through to distribution and consumption and down to its effects on individuals, visitors of the Society and Environment can submerge themselves in the complex world of food and discover it playfully. The special exhibits in German, English and Slovakian invite you to participate and offer food for thought.

From the Earth to Your Plate

Each of the three exhibits is dedicated to a key subject. The first exhibit in 2018 deals with food production. The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal husbandry is the origin of present-day food production. From the plow to artificial fertilizer, from the greenhouse to gene manipulation, in order to increase yield, agriculture has produced many new methods and technologies over the past centuries and continues to evolve. Arable land continues to be the most important resource for the production of food. It is bitterly fought after (land-grab) and subject to major transformations (climate change). Arable land as a source of food is also the topic of myths and creation stories and is worshiped in the form of earth deities.

You Are What You Eat?

As the exhibit shows, only a minority of food products derived from nature go directly to our dinner plates. Be it fruits, vegetables, meat or fish: People wash, peel, cut, season, cook, boil, bake, grill, etc. food. Food is processed and prepared for suitable consumption and taste, preservation, storage or transport. A minority of meals are cooked entirely independently. Who grinds grain into meal or churns milk into butter or makes it into yoghurt or cheese? The food industry prepares the food accordingly before it gets into the local kitchens where it is made into a particular dish. Through preparation people decide how the food is to look, smell, taste and feel. The exhibit shows how food is not just mere consumption of nutrients.  What, how much, when, where and how people eat is an expression of culture, mentality, morals, lifestyle, customs, tradition, wealth, poverty, age and gender.