A new museum in Malmö, Sweden, aims to make visitors gag and recoil at its collection. The Disgusting Food Museum contains disgusting food from every corner of the globe, and curator Samuel West says the universal revulsion of visitors is the key to understanding the exhibit.
“Disgust is one of the six fundamental human emotions, and the evolutionary function of disgust is to help us to avoid foods that might be dangerous, that are contaminated, toxic, gone off,” West said. “Disgust is hardwired as an emotion but what we find disgusting is culturally learned.”
Alongside traditionally disgusting foods, the museum will have foods of the future available like insects and lab-grown meat.
Among the 80 items on display are also frog smoothies, a win made of baby mice, fermented herring, and a cheese filled with maggots.
West is a clinical psychologist and researcher, previously known for creating the Museum of Failure, which showcased products that failed to please customers. A Lund University professor who helped to set up the Disgusting Food Museum, Hakan Jonsson, said the museum aims to change what people find disgusting – and that attitudes are already shifting. “A lot of big groups in (the) Western world are all of a sudden thinking, ‘meat has become disgusting, something that I could never put into my mouth,’” he said.
The museum will also have unusual food and drink available for purchase at shop and in a restaurant, which the creators promise is “not disgusting.”