Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Good Food exhibit serves up resources

Sasha Norman
A display shows four jars of food sitting next to each other. This is a small section of the “Good Food” exhibit that shows the perseveration process of food and instructions on how to preserve your own food. (Sasha Norman | Northern Star)

DeKALB – The Pick Museum of Anthropology’s “Good Food” exhibit presents information about food insecurity, food resources in DeKalb, what “Good Food” means to different people and more. 

The exhibit was organized by curators Annalisa Amber, Debbie Allen, Sylvia Gutierrez Scoggin, Ben Driver and Atlas Babcock. 

The curators consulted with faculty, local producers and other members of the DeKalb community and oversaw the exhibit’s construction over Spring 2023 and Summer 2023. 

The “Good Food” exhibit features sections about biodiversity, food insecurity in DeKalb and where you can receive help, resource sharing, animal welfare, fair labor for food workers, nutrition and protection of water quality. 

Christy DeLair, director of the Pick Museum of Anthropology, said the inspiration and purpose of the exhibit was to raise awareness of food issues as well as public resources. 

“We wanted to bring awareness of issues that we were concerned about and then raising awareness about the organizations and researchers that are doing that work,” DeLair said. “There was an additional goal of providing information about resources for people that might be concerned about food issues too, whether that is food security or ways to get involved.”

However, the exhibit isn’t just your average collection of data and information. Each section has a unique way of being viewed and interacted with. 

For example, the biodiversity section has physical seeds in containers in mini compartments which viewers can open to learn information on those specific seeds. 

In the food access section, visitors can interact with a standard shopping basket as well as some regular food items, such as a box of Ritz crackers and dried pasta. The purpose of this interaction is to teach how to properly organize and collect food based on their price and nutritional value. 

While visitors are exploring the exhibit, they can view or listen to videos of people from different backgrounds explaining what “good food” means to them. There is even a Minecraft replica of the DeKalb Farmers’ Market in Minecraft, which visitors can explore on a tablet next to the food access section. 

Perhaps the most visually appealing display was the gardening section where visitors are able to physically pull out plush replicas of different types of crops from a wooden box which mimics the actual ground itself. When the “crops” are pulled out, they have information attached that explains their nutritional value. 

Annalisa Amber, a graduate anthropology student and one of the organizers who helped construct the exhibit, wanted visitors to leave knowing they have resources that can help with their food issues. 

“I really wanted it (the resources) to be applicable and didn’t want it to feel far away or out of reach to anyone who wanted to have access to good, sustainable, healthy food,” Amber said. “Whether that be taking your own seed packet that we have and doing something with it or learning about some of the accessible and sustainable programs on campus or joining programs on campus and learning how to make your own prep meal.” 

The exhibit is a perfect fusion of learning and a useful resource. 

The intriguing and alluring information and interactives serve as an ample way for individuals to spend their free time or for anyone looking to take their mind off of classes. 

The exhibit will remain available in Cole Hall until May 11.

More to Discover