Portland Eaters: Be a Taste Tester

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The OSU Food Innovation Center is looking for potential taste testers for the first week of April.

“The Sensory and Consumer Group at the Food Innovation Center is recruiting for 6 consumer taste tests the week of April 1st. We will be running two different tests each day of April 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2008. Each test is 25 minutes. Compensation is $20. You may qualify for all six tests.”

Take their pre-test screen to be in the pool of potential participants.

Be paid to be opinionated about your food tastes and habits!

What was my focus group experience like?

I’ve participated in a focus group session at the Food Innovation before and have been looking forward to my next opportunity to see what they are up to.

We were seated together around a table, in sessions of 8 people and answered questions about our seafood buying habits for 45 minutes. We answered questions on paper first and then went over our answers out loud as a group. They really encouraged us to spill any preferences, thoughts, details on our purchasing motivations. Beyond being paid to be opinionated, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear and see that there are people as concerned, passionate, and supportive of buying seafood direct when possible as I am!

We gathered all of our hopeful, pie-in-the-sky wishes and ideals and laid them out bare.

As a group we stressed that we want to give our money direct to the local fisherman (minimal middlemen to eat up margins), we want to know when, where and how the fish were caught. We, as seafood buyers, want to do the right thing, and we want to be educated by trustworthy entities about what that right thing is.

And for a sliver of time in that night, I actually believed that if someone wants to hear from someone like me, there is hope in keeping our consumption and interactions sustainable and healthy.

A fleeting glimmer of hope.

2 Comments

posted March 27th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I’d say I definitely agree with your seafood buying preferences.

Even when I was attempting a semi-vegetarian lifestyle, I ate fish on a regular basis, simply because I was living on the coast and worked with or one level away from most of the fishermen. It really is incredible knowing the people who caught your seafood by name, and being able to start a stopwatch from the time they caught it to when it’s on your table.

I just have no idea how to go about that here in Portland. My network is severed. Suggestions?

My network broke during the winter here. I had been buying seafood from my farmer’s market. The OHSU one has a seller who brings in shrimp, salmon, halibut, and some other specialties.

I remember the PSU market having someone set up there too.

I’ll try to find more specific details at home.

cheers
–McAuliflower

- Andrew
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