Is there a gene for liking broccoli?
“Is there a gene for liking broccoli?” is designed for high school general science, chemistry, biology, and nutrition students. It touches on several core science topics, including the sense of taste, genotype and phenotype, nucleotide sequences, and genes. Middle school students can read “Is there a gene for liking broccoli?” successfully with more teacher direction, such as reading one paragraph at a time and discussing the main idea.
The activity “Taste this!” introduces the science of sensory evaluation — a scientific discipline in which human senses are used to evaluate consumer products. Conducting taste tests using procedures adapted from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) shows students how scientific methods apply to the questions “Which food do you like better?” (preference tests) and “Can you tell the difference between two food samples?” (discrimination tests). Taste tests can be conducted with a wide array of foods, but to tie into the reading “Is there a gene for liking broccoli?” we suggest preference tests such roasted vs raw broccoli and discrimination tests such as organic vs conventionally grown broccoli. (Of course, teachers need to be aware of allergies any time food is part of a classroom activity.)
• Is there a gene for liking broccoli? - Reading
• Teacher Version: Taste this!
• Taste this! - Activities