A culinary journey of a different kind awaits at the Technical Museum’s Foodprints exhibition. Experience the past, the present, and (particularly) the future of food technology.
- Multimedia and interactive displays, including a tasteLAB
- Discover food technology’s contribution to the defining issues of today’s world
- Many delights: live mushroom beds, algae tastings, cooking by printer, and more
- All text in English, too
- Runs Dec 16, 2021 – Aug 28, 2022
- See also:
Can you eat it? Should you?
(Mushrooms growing on used coffee grounds as an example of sustainable urban agriculture © Technisches Museum Wien)
Anyone paying attention to environmental issues knows that food production and consumption have a significant impact on the climate emergency and other environmental concerns (not to mention public health and socioeconomic development).
Technology, of course, has a big role to play here. Which brings us nicely to the Technical Museum’s Foodprints exhibition.
Nutrition and technology are like two peas in a pod (the metaphor doesn’t quite work, but allow a writer his little jokes).
Science and technology sit behind the huge improvements of recent decades in yields, transport, preservation, availability, and affordability of food.
However, not all progress is positive, particularly when seen through a sustainability lens. Think food waste (a recent theme at the Natural History Museum), obesity, energy use, pesticides, etc.
Yet science (and consumer awareness) might also offer answers to food-related development and environmental issues, as Foodprints demonstrates.
The exhibition takes us on a journey through the past, present, and future of food technology. In doing so, it highlights the ramifications of food and nutrition for sustainability, the environment, health, and more.
Do not, however, expect a dry, lecturing exhibition experience. Do expect multimedia displays and interactive encounters: this is a 21st-century science museum.
The mix takes you from amusing historical nutrition tips and wartime sausage recipes to robotic harvesters and experimental vertical farm sculptures.
We discover, for example, all sorts of intriguing innovations and possibilities: sustainable packaging made from algae, intelligent fridges, drone-based pest control…to name but a few of the topics covered.
The exhibition also shows how our choices have consequences. For example, pick up a shopping card and use it to make food selections at various stations around the displays. The screens and a printed receipt at the end reveal the impacts of your decision.
(The tasteLAB demo kitchen © Technisches Museum Wien)
Consider Foodprints very much a live exhibition, too, thanks to the supervised tasteLAB, which enjoys the support of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions, and Tourism.
The offerings within tasteLAB vary and may depend on what COVID allows, but you might, for example, get a taste (literally) of Austria’s farms, known for their regional diversity and strong organic component.
You might witness “cooking” with the Foodini 3D printer. Or you might discover a few foods rarely found on Viennese restaurant menus. Fancy an algae starter to whet the appetite?
Tickets and dates
Sample (ba dum tish!) the exhibition from December 16th, 2021 through to August 28th, 2022. A ticket for the museum includes all temporary and permanent exhibitions. Those under 19 get in free.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
How to get to the exhibition
Follow the travel tips on the Technical Museum page. Once inside, pop up to floor E3 for the exhibition.
The museum has another parallel interactive special exhibition to keep your eyes and fingers busy: Artificial Intelligence? explores the reality, potential, and implications of AI and robots. Where’s John Connor when you need him?
Address: Mariahilfer Straße 212, 1140 Vienna