In a day and age where processed foods and maximum output are ubiquitous, we as a nation have a sordid relationship with food and an ever fading connection to where our food comes from, particularly when it comes to meat. In a seemingly modernized society, we no longer require the aid of meat to sustain us, yet we still eat it… a lot of it, without much regard for its origins.
Portland has a unique cultural mindfulness when it comes to food, which is beginning to influence the way the rest of America interacts with food sources. But the culture shifts that have brought Portland to this place often don’t address the full complexities of food ethics. What we find in the place of balanced perspectives on food related topics are the inflexible points of view one one side of the fence or the other. There is little discourse to be had when polarizing groups like PETA and Monsanto are the loudest voices in the room.
Ultimately, the decision to eat meat is a personal one and it is crucial that we facilitate healthy, informed debate regarding meat ethics as well as spark the desire to engage in independent research and long term exploration into our food systems. Shedding light on this concept for a young audience specifically is where the Adventurous Eaters Offal Kit comes in. By helping children and their parents to start thinking about meat from ethical, cultural and ecological perspectives, the Adventurous Eaters Offal Kit arms kids with information and empowers them to come to their own conclusions.
The Adventurous Eater Offal Kit is a learning experience that aims to provide a multi faceted approach toward giving children, ages 4 to 11, and their parents an introduction to more holistic ways of thinking about food; Specifically meat.
The kit is comprised of:
-Hami the pig, a stuffed animal with a zippered pouch in his stomach where eager hands can reach in to extract plush versions of his guts or “Offal”. The idea being that seeing these organs come out of an animal, would provide a valuable insight into the connection between animals, organs, offal and food.
-The Guts Guide, as a companion to Hami and his guts, is crafted to be small so that it could fit inside his pouch. The content of the Guts Guide exists to teach any child playing with Hami all about pigs, where they come from and some of the organ meats that can be found inside them.
-A Recipe Book to provide the real experience of cooking in a kitchen by providing information on how to use a kitchen as well as fun and easy offal recipes.
-An Activity Book, filled with puzzles, games and open ended questions that reinforce the concepts from the Guts Guide and the Recipe Book as well as facilitate discussion about our food system. By using these learning materials in succession, children and parents can embark on a path of discovery together and become more invested in our evolving food systems.