MOTHER EARTH NEWS Magazine on Display in New Smithsonian ‘Food’ Exhibit

Visit the Smithsonian exhibit called “Food: Transforming the American Table,” and you’ll find a 1970 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS in the “Countercultures” section!
By Rebecca Martin
August/September 2013
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Our magazine has proudly been talking about healthy, homegrown food for more than four decades. The plaque next to the Smithsonian display case featuring MOTHER EARTH NEWS says, “During the 1960s and ’70s, as waves of cultural and political change swept through American society, food became a tool of resistance, consciousness-raising and self-expression … [People] questioned how the food Americans ate was produced, prepared and consumed, and advocated new models of food production and new diets.”
Photo Courtesy Smithsonian Institute

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The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest museum and research complex — but few objects in its vast collection ever go on display. Those that do have been chosen because of their influence on U.S. society. That’s why we’re excited that the first-ever issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine is part of a new exhibit.

Food: Transforming the American Table: 1950-2000 explores the politics of mass-produced food during the last half of the 20th century, when public debate began to rage over what we in the United States should be eating, and why. Volume 1, No. 1 of The MOTHER EARTH NEWS (as it used to be called) from January 1970 is featured in the section on 1960s and ’70s grassroots movements. The magazine is lauded as a resource for alternative communities committed to growing and cooking their own food, and whose members made opting out of industrial food a symbol of resistance. Find more information at the National Museum of American History's website.

Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, where her beats include DIY and Green Transportation. She's an avid cyclist and has never met a vegetable she didn't like. You can find her on .

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