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Food For Health: are you what you eat?

By in Culture

AMY JANZEN

Growing your own veggies is a great way to encourage yourself to eat right.
Growing your own veggies is a great way to encourage yourself to eat right.

How many of us honestly understand where our food comes from?

From now until the end of March, the Canadian Agriculture touring Food For Health exhibit will be providing answers while on display at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon.

Food For Health primarily asks audiences, “Are you what you eat?”

The exhibit encourages viewers to think about their daily lifestyle choices by examining the food they buy, the way they prepare food and the way bodies use food.

By incorporating an informative and interactive format, the exhibit shows viewers that every food choice affects their body in different ways.

Using historical examples, Food For Health examines how food has changed and how we have evolved as customers over the past century.

Hands-on activities and multimedia displays include a video on how foods can become contaminated before reaching consumers and how best to ensure you are eating safe foods. There is a large scale and interactive nutrition label that encourages audience members to match foods to corresponding vitamins, minerals or fat contents.

There’s even a bike that measures how quickly we can burn calories. Sitting in the middle of the exhibit, the bike calculates how long one would have to exercise to burn a single potato chip (22 calories). This exercise will likely leave the rider breathless long after one would assume they have burnt off the small snack.

Early 20th-century Canadians knew exactly where their food came from. While curing meat, canning food and preparing food on a daily basis was more typical for the average Canadian a hundred years ago, today we are more inclined to eat pre-packaged or prepared food.

Not only has the way we prepare food changed, but so have our production methods and purchasing habits.

As foods from around the world have become more readily available in Canada, purchasing produce from the grocery store rather than growing it in our own backyards is more typical now than it was for past generations. The exhibit demonstrates how we, as Canadians, no longer have to labour over our food.

Food For Health is an informative show and provides audiences with a basic understanding of how food processing and consumption has changed over the last 100 years.


Photo: Sim Blackley/Flickr

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