‘American Enterprise’ Shapes the Way the World Eats

Sign for Japanese market, McDonald's Restaurant, 1975. 1983.0020.01.

Sign for Japanese market, McDonald’s Restaurant, 1975. 1983.0020.01.

Want to talk to a farmer? Watch someone grind chocolate? Sample Georgia barbecue?

Head to the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has launched a new permanent exhibition celebrating American business. But sprinkled among innovations such as Thomas Edison’s stock ticker, the Laffer Curve napkin and a rack of computer servers used to create Google, American Enterprise” also features mundane kitchen items: a refrigerator; orange juice; a Velveeta box.

But what does chili con queso have to do with business?

“Food is central to American history,” says Susan Evans, program director for the museum’s American Food History Project. “When Americans see a problem or an issue, they innovate … Many times the challenges that impact us directly center on what we eat and how we eat it.”

Read on, maybe plan a visit?

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