What's Cooking Uncle Sam? at the National Constitution Center - 6abc Loves the Arts

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Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13, 2015 (WPVI) -- With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's time to get cooking. And if you're looking for a little inspiration, there's a new exhibit at the National Constitution Center that explores the history of what we eat and why.

It's called What's Cooking Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet. On loan from The National Archive Museum in Washington DC, it literally takes you along for the journey that your food makes to go from "farm to table".

"It is an exhibit that traces American's fascination and obsession with food," says curator Alice Kamps, who says there are four sections to the exhibition, starting on the farm, "which explores how the government has had an effect on what farmers grow and how they grow it."

The next stop is the factory. "So we learn there about how government has gotten involved in regulating the types of ingredients that go into foods," says Kamps who says visitors then follow the path into the kitchen and learn how US nutrition guidelines were developed, starting in the 1890s, "and it's fascinating to see how our understating of nutrition has changed over the years."

The final stop? The kitchen table

"That's where we learn about how programs like the school lunch program and military food have affected our different appetites," says Kamps.

And with the push of a button, exhibit goers can read documents and watch videos that show how world events, government regulations, research, and economics helped shape what we put on our plate.

"I think that some of it is surprising. Some of it is revealing. You gain some insight into how our government programs evolved the way that they did," says Kamps.

What's Cooking Uncle Sam is at the National Constitution Center through January 3rd. For museum hours and tickets, go to www.ConstitutionCenter.org.