If you think that the Arizona State Fair is just cotton candy and rides, you may want to think again.

Right in the middle of pavilions filled with cows and goats, you will find a building with an exhibit that is sure to be thought provoking. For an additional $5 per person admission, you can enter the “Our Body: The Universe Within” pavilion. This exhibit, which is all new for 2012, features preserved human bodies injected with polymers to retain the body in a plasticized, or plastic-like, state.

Let me start by saying this exhibit is not for children younger than 12. It shows real humans with real human parts — all parts.

I have to say I was a little nervous about viewing the exhibit at first. However, once I got there, the specimens did not look like real bodies as much as they looked like plastic casts.

The exhibit itself was entertaining. I found that in viewing the individual exhibits and corresponding signage, I learned a lot. The signs asked interesting questions such as, “Did you know that your stomach regenerates each week to assure that natural acids do not eat through the lining?”

This is a great exhibit for teens, since parents can easily point out some of the effects of smoking, lack of exercise, etc., on the body, without becoming preachy. It showed lungs that were diseased from smoking, for example, and allowed comparison to non-diseased lungs.

It is also great for adults, to remind us that our body is our temple, and we need to take care of it.

If you are going to the state fair, make sure to visit this exhibit. It is definitely worth seeing.

The fair goes through Nov. 4. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The fairgrounds are at 1826 W. McDowell Road in downtown Phoenix.

• Judy A. Toth is the owner of Simply Impressive Cooking School. Reach her at (480) 654-1981 or www.SimplyImpressive.com.

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