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  • Foto: Stagbird
    Foto: Stagbird

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Taste for Life: An interdisciplinary research and communication center with focus on taste, food and the senses

Taste for Life - “Smag for Livet” in Danish - is an exemplary research and communication collaboration of scientists and practitioners within the humanities, natural and social sciences funded by the Danish foundation Nordea-fonden.

The center involves researchers from

  • the humanities (pedagogical and didactical scientists)
  • natural sciences (sensory scientists and gastrophysicists)
  • social sciences (anthropologists)
  • educators (preschool, elementary, secondary and vocational schools, colleges and universities)
  • chefs

Through interdisciplinary research collaboration and communication to pupils, students and the broader public in educational institutions and festivals, we attempt to span the perceived chasm separating food-sensory science and the humanities and social sciences by engaging scholars integrating the different disciplines in a close, collaborative effort, hereby generating new knowledge on taste.

The center includes researchers from several universities and colleges, chefs from innovation kitchens, and teachers from elementary schools, high schools and vocational educations. By integrating taste, learning, didactics and communication, our projects focus on three main areas:

  1. sensory sciences and didactics;
  2. gastrophysics and the integration of scientific disciplines;
  3. and innovation and honing of culinary skills.

While we teach pupils, students and people in general about and through taste, we also study their use of taste, taste preferences, and learning processes by gathering empirical data for anthropological, sensory and pedagogical research.

At the conference, we will present selected examples of our work to serve as best-practice interdisciplinary case-studies of studying and teaching how we taste food and why it matters. For example, we have completed a theme week on taste in an elementary school covering all grades from 0-8 and all subjects by teaching about and through taste, while at the same time gathering data on children’s taste preferences and learning skills.

Taste for Life is non-profit, has no walls, and is funded for a 4-year period by the commercial foundation Nordea-fonden. The knowledge and results as well as educational material are publicly available and communicated to the general public using a wide range of means, including the website www.smagforlivet.dk (and to some extent www.taste-for-life.org).