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It takes more than 40 different species to make a simple lunch (tuna sandwich on whole wheat, potato chips, iced tea, and an apple). You’d be surprised to know how far some of the ingredients have traveled. As shoppers and as eaters, we play a critical role in shaping what ends up on our plate and why. Informed choices keep us healthy and help protect ecosystems around the world — along with all the species, including humans, that depend on them.


Support for the development of Science Topics was generously provided by Sidney and Helaine Lerner, GRACE Communications Foundation.
mid winter institute food

Mid Winter Teacher Institute: Food, Nature, Culture

This workshop will introduce K-12 teachers to the Museum’s newest exhibition,Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.

little farmers

Little Farmers

Scientists from Rice University in Houston, Texas, found that a third of wild specimens are able to sow and harvest the soil bacteria they rely on for food.

Healthy Eating Seasonally

Healthy Eating for You and the Planet: Select Seasonally

Inspired by our 2004 "Living With Nature" program, "Healthy Eating for You and the Planet," this wallet card contains information on seasonal foods of the Northeastern United States.

Belo Horizonte Diorama Global Kitchen

Our Global Kitchen Exhibition: Brazilian Urban Farms

Six exquisite miniature dioramas in the new exhibition Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture illuminate diverse methods of farming around the worldincluding in cities.


Have Humans Adapted to the Western Diet?

Italian scientists report that people in Western countries lack the diversity of stomach bacteria found in rural villagers in Africa. The implication is that our bodies are better suited to the diets of our ancestors than the modern Western diet.



Rice is Vietnam’s primary agricultural export, planted on more than 80 percent of the country’s total farmland.

Agricultural Genetic Engineering

Agricultural Genetic Engineering

It is crucial to provide education about genetically engineered foods to the public, who will be deeply affected by this technology and who will determine the market for these foods.

Green Guerillas

The Green Guerillas

From a humble start 25 years ago tossing seed-filled water balloons into abandoned city lots, the Green Guerillas have grown into an organization that has created and maintains 1,000 urban gardens.

Farming in a Dry Land

Farming in a Dry Land

Mexico's Oaxaca Valley gets almost no rain for seven months of the year. Yet more than 2,000 years ago, the Zapotec people created one of the most successful farming civilizations in the Americas.

Our Global Kitchen_Slide

Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture

Take a journey around the world and through time. Stroll through an ancient market, cook a virtual meal, peek inside the dining rooms of illustrious individuals—and consider some of the most challenging issues of our time.

Miniature pottery decorated stove

Artifacts from Museum’s Collections Offer Clues to Two-Thousand-Year-Old Cooking Methods

How do we know what people living in China 2,000 years ago ate, and how they cooked their food?  Ethnographic objects can offer important clues about daily life during the Han Dynasties (226 BC to AD 220).

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating for You and the Planet: Avoiding Pesticides in Produce

Inspired by our 2004 Living With Nature program, Healthy Eating for You and the Planet, this guide lists the fruits and vegetables that are typically most likely to have higher pesticide residue levels.

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