In order for a specimen to be added into the museum’s collection the following criteria must be met. The item must be food. It must have accidentally dehydrated. A food-dehydrating apparatus must not have been used in the drying of the submitted item. The submitted item must not been have been stolen—the donor must be its rightful owner or an authorized representative. The item must not emit a musty odor. The item must not be covered with mold and/or mildew. Rejected submissions will be returned to the donor upon request, otherwise they will be composted.
The Dehydrated Food Museum regrets that it cannot accept submissions from persons unknown to Museum staff. This is in order to maintain the integrity of the Museum’s collection and to stay within the limitations of its resources.
It is the abundant generosity of its donors and the enthusiasm of its visitors that have made The Dehydrated Food Museum what it is. The individuals who have donated the specimens have a passion for discovery, the facility of being able to find and recognize exemplary items, and the altruistic spirit of sharing them with others. Still no less important, are all of the visitors and accidentally-dried-food appreciators who breathe life into the museum and its shriveled collection.
If you have an orange or—for that matter—any fruit or vegetable that is starting to shrivel, the Museum recommends that you compost the item. Our curatorial staff encourages you to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, but to procure only the amount you are able to eat while the food is still fresh.
The museum does not currently have the budget to maintain a public exhibition space. A small percentage of the museum’s specimens are on private display. The Museum seeks to preserve its specimens by minimizing their exposure to both visible and ultraviolet light, as well as to excessive handling. This website, dryfood.org, strives to bring the museum’s exhibits to you.
... and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck... whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...”
“Whenever we do something that we think is an unmitigated disaster/mistake, if we stop for one second and we look at what it is instead of what it isn’t, that is really beautiful” —Deborah, Hanson-Conant, curator of the Museum of Burnt Food. VISIT >
Stories from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History VISIT >
If you’ve exhausted the exhibits at The Dehydrated Food Museum, or if this particular museum with its dessicated artifacts is perhaps not your thing, you may want to check out this consolidation of other online museums. VISIT >