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Whatever Happened to That Old Diner?: Preserving Food Heritage

By Meredith Sayles Hughes

Tags: food history, food heritage, cultural history, volunteering, New Mexico, Meredith Sayles Hughes,

Family Farm Food Heritage

Most of us have childhood memories of food places—maybe a restaurant, or a cider mill—maybe an old watermill, thick with flour dust, or a market where the vendors gave us free pieces of fruit. As more and more cookie-cutter chain restaurants serving frozen, pre-apportioned meals spread across the US and some of the rest of the world, much is being lost: healthy food, local sourcing, personal stories, and more.

What about local orchards and groves? Old vineyards, breweries and fish markets? Whatever happened to that creaky old farm with the perfect blackberries? The big open-air city market right downtown? The ranch where you could see exactly what your future side of beef was eating?

Preserving Food HeritageAltapass Orchard Store

As we lose our connection with our food, and with the people who grow and process it, we lose much of our cultural history and identity. Concerned with what is either lost or in danger of disappearing, The FOOD Museum, which we established in 2000, is out to preserve the food heritage of the U.S. (And the world. A few years back, we wrote Gastronomie! Food Museums and Heritage Sites of France, published by Bunker Hill. It explored the food heritage traditions and museums dedicated to food in a country where food and drink truly have priority.)

Our mission to research, collect, preserve and then explain America's food heritage and historic sites likely cannot be done without help. Want to contribute? Want to delve into your local community's food heritage? Want to involve your school, your family, or a community group?

Let's talk.

Contact Meredith at The FOOD Museum website.