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TASTE – NO WASTE: Taste experiments at Research day for 6th and 7th grade schoolchildren

By Anette Kamuk, Birthe Kofoed Mortensen, Charlotte Mithril, Agnete Hoffmeyer & Rikke Højer. University College Absalon; Taste for Life. 

The aim of a so-called research day was to give schoolchildren from 6th to 7th grade a day of learning about taste, sustainability and future foods. The children were invited to University College Absalon in Soroe, Denmark to a day with workshops involving taste experiments. Based on sensory experiments related to taste and through involvement and dialogue, the aim was to create knowledge, competences and awareness about taste and to challenge food courage among the children. Focus was to explore taste and taste preferences through sensory experiments and to bring awareness to the taste of different foods. In addition, the aim was to create experiences which could show how taste and taste courage are influenced by social interactions and relations. A final aim was to bring awareness of how you can reduce waste with the example of how to use all parts of fruits and vegetables.  

In total, approximately 120 children aged 10-12 years participated. In one workshop, children experimented with making juice to explore the basic tastes and worked with the pulp as an example of how to reduce food waste. In another workshop, the children prepared and tasted roasted insects as an example of a future novel food. All children participated in both workshops.

We observed that the research day was a unique opportunity for providing awareness and knowledge about taste, sustainability and future foods. The children had a positive approach to the experiments and investigated the different tastes and foods with high enthusiasm and interest. Especially the experiments with insects seemed to induce dialogue and interactions among the children, have a positive effect on group dynamics and influence taste and food courage.