Picture by Adam Theriault. See more of his work at http://www.awayfromkeyboard.com/ I have a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan, and am currently teaching as a lecturer in American Culture and the University Courses Division. My primary research and teaching interests are food, mass media, and popular culture. I started this blog to have a place to put recipes, thoughts on current food news, and casual research outside the scope of my formal academic writing.

I'm not a photographer, a nutritionist, or a food industry professional. The former will be obvious. In regards to both of the latter, I'll try not to make claims that are beyond my ken. However, just like everyone else who eats, I have to make decisions about what to eat every day based on the best information I have about how that will affect my health and well-being, the environment, the economy, labor conditions, animal welfare, how other people perceive me, and all the other things that are tied up in the material production and cultural significance of food. Rather than pontificating about or trying to prescribe rules about how anyone "should" eat, I try to apply a critical lens to popular wisdom, scientific research, and my own assumptions about what it means to eat well. I'll do my best to cite the sources of the recipes and information I use and provide links when possible. All opinions represented here are my own, and all content is free and may be reproduced with proper attribution for non-commercial purposes.

As I explained in one of the early entries, the title of the blog isn't meant to perpetuate the myth of four tastes but to invoke the tastes most often used metaphorically. This blog will often be about the literal and practical acts of cooking and eating, but I also hope to at least gesture towards the broader social, cultural, and political significance of eating, to sort of loop and swirl around the question of why it should make any sense at all to describe life itself as bitter or sweet, or of course, both at the same time.