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Central Standard

How The Government Shaped What We Eat

Try as we might, Americans can’t seem to get Uncle Sam out of our kitchens. Government policies have a hand in just about everything we buy, cook and eat. An exhibit at the National Archives in Kansas City puts all of this into focus. It’s called What’s Cooking Uncle Sam? The traveling exhibit was first shown in Washington DC and it chronicles the history of the government policies that effect the food we eat.

Government involvement with food began as early as the American Revolution when volunteering soldiers were offered government food rations. Government involvement with food produciton and consumption dramatically increased in early 1900s as mechanized farming meant more food, but also more exposure to food risks. On Central Standard we explore this complicated and surprising history.


  • Dee A. Harris, Exhibits Specialist at the National Archives at Kansas City
  • Dr. John Herron, associate professor of history at UMKC
Central Standard
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.