“Food for thought”

An interesting idea about food based on the use of hi-tech 3D printing aimed at producing mashed-up food in a visually appealing way to encourage older people to eat more.

An EU performance project – which is not exactly an altogether ringing endorsement – reduces foods to a puree so they are easier to eat, but then reconstructs them to look like their original shape in a more edible form.

Certainly, some older people have difficulty swallowing, particularly stroke victims, and for them this might be a welcome idea, particularly if it makes food more appetising.

The problem comes when we assume lots of older people need mashed up food, when their real reason for not eating is altogether different and remains unaddressed.

Loneliness and depression are two significant factors in older people losing their appetite.   So are lack of fresh air and exercise, which must be a common sense reason why so many people in residential care homes have little appetite.

Equally, many older people with dementia need encouragement to eat.  So too do people with arthritis or strokes who have difficulty holding a knife and fork.  These are issues which do not need mashed up food, just a little care and attention and sometimes some personal support.

Hi-tech solutions are all very well, but cannot be a substitute for care and support.

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One Response to “Food for thought”

  1. It is as you suggest a tricky area, and the link of some EU Project and the digestive system of some stout old Uk citezens, is a bit more than they may wish to stomauch.
    I think in your very eariest of days you did mention this subject under the umberella of Hospital foods/NHS patient care?
    The article as presented does not make easy reading, and the interpretation of ‘Old Age’ is one of eating through straws, when as you correctly state to most elderly citezen, whom have not suffered some debilertating ailment enjoy the smaller portion of food, with the choice of freashly cooked ingrediants. They do as all way,s as we do ‘Eat with their eyes’ and if well present, but not over portioned sit down and thoroughly enjoy, one of the treats in life. What they proberbly miss the most is the companionship and family gatherings around a meal time, and the general chit-chat, and banter.
    As for the EU we as the UK eat a lot of paper and I for one are as ever amazed at the subjects that are considered worthy of consumption. Some thing need to be done with the detritus of published information, under the guise of legislation and guidanance. They concentrate to keep all the burocrates working on small print (Wasting monies and time), when in fact they should step back and look at the panaromic (BIG) picture of what we as Europeans can achieve as a cohesive society.

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