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April 10, 2021

The Museum of Endangered Foods

COME SAY GOODBYE

The Museum of Endangered Foods is an exhibition to reflect on one of the most underestimated consequences of climate crisis: the extinction of foods. When the word “endangered” crosses our minds, we exclusively think about animals: pandas, rhinos, whales… but other life forms such as plants, and also specifically domesticated and edible plants that we consider foods, are also on the verge of extinction.

Welcome to the museum!

Exhibited at

Dutch Design Week
Disseny Hub Barcelona
Matadero Madrid

Food extinction is already happening

The causes are manyfold: from excruciating, rising temperatures to fresh-water scarcity, extreme and irregular weather patterns, habitat loss and deforestation, pollution and heightened vulnerability to plagues, predators and disease. Some of the most endangered food species in the world right now are avocados, cacao and wine. But also some of the most basic ingredients in the kitchens all over the world, such as potatoes, chickpeas, fish, bananas or coffee.

It is extremely worrying and dangerous that nobody’s talking about these issues, and that the only “solution” for most of these problems consists on genetically modifying the crops so they can become drought or fungi resistant. Instead, and because these problems are not isolated but complex, entangled realities, our approach at solving them has to be different and comprehensive.

This exhibition aims to put the focus on the ecological vulnerabilities threatening each of these foods in the hope that food will be a more palpable and approachable take on climate crisis. We can only wish that food, probably the most necessary feature for human life along with water and air —which are also in great danger— will make a wider audience connect and become aware of the problems we’re currently facing.

The Museum of Endangered Foods is an exhibition to make people reflect on one of the most underestimated consequences of climate crisis: the extinction of foods
The concept

The concept behind the creative direction of the project was to display these endangered ingredients as if they were the last ones. Placing them inside a case, in a museum-like environment, instantly made them more valuable and appreciated.

The extreme minimalism of the design helps reinforce this idea: a white set up where each ingredient can stand out and become a museum piece. From displaying a single banana to using a magnifying glass to see what is too small and valuable to be seen otherwise.

“if we lose the bees, so many fruit, vegetable and other plant crops would soon follow. […]
Today, the bees are indicating to us that something is very wrong with the world.
We would be wise to listen. If bees go, a number of critical culinary species follow.”

Prof. Lenore Newman

The museum works with a QR code that you can easily scan to read more about each ingredient’s expiring date
A traveling exhibition

The Museum of Endangered Foods is a traveling exhibition that so far has visited Madrid, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Different cities, same reactions: from surprise to horror people reactions are the same no matter where they’re from. We believe food is a powerful tool to communicate complex ideas in an approachable way, and The Museum of Endangered Foods is always there to back us up.

If you are interested in bringing The Museum to your city, company or event, do not hesitate to contact us at hola@sharpandsour.com.

“due to a lack of genetic diversity, a fungal pathogen known as ‘Panama disease’
is threatening to spread through plantations across the world,
putting bananas and livelihoods at great risk.”

Kew Gardens

FOODTURE 2021

Barcelona

FLORIADE 2022

Amsterdam

DUTCH DESIGN WEEK 2021

Eindhoven

FOOD FOREVER FESTIVAL

London
60% of wild coffee plants are at risk of extinction, and according to the
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (ICTA),
the global area suitable for coffee growth will be cut by half by 2050.
“once we begin fishing a species commercially, it rapidly declines,
suffering an 80% reduction in the first fifteen years, on average”.

Prof. Lenore Newman

Talks and events

We have also been asked to share our project and talk about climate crisis on several occasions for different events and workshops, including the World Design Embassies, PRIMER21 or Matadero Madrid.

Welcome to The Museum
of Endangered Foods!
Welcome to The Museum
of Endangered Foods!

EXHIBITED IN

PRESS & TALKS