Food is one of life’s central pleasures.
We know that altered eating steals joy from people’s lives. When food doesn't taste as it once did, or isn't as straightforward to eat anymore, it is a big deal. We know from working with COVID-19, cancer and many other areas, changes in how food tastes or in how you can eat can make mealtime seem like a burden. It can be challenging to know what to eat and to find a way to eat with others. All of this can also feel isolating, not least if no-one quite understands what its like. But it doesn't have to be that way.
The loss of joy in food and the importance of socialising around food underscore our innovative assessements and with better insight, skills and tips, we help you adapt. We also offer 'food play' and opportunities for gathering together with people who also live with altered eating.
We are developing a new specialist altered eating service that will be the first of its kind. A detailed assessement and exploration of how your relationship with food has changed enables you to better understand why some foods work better than others, how better to adapt cooking to meet your needs and desires. Stay tuned for how you can access this service soon.... very soon....
"My inability to smell had eliminated the aromas that round out our full sense of taste. I had lost the bright notes of citrus, and the funk of anchovies and fish sauce. Gone were the contributions of onion, garlic, and herbs. All I had left were the flavours I could discern on my tongue—mostly salt and sweetness. I was now eating textures. It was as if I’d gone from a Technicolor 3-D movie in Dolby Surround Sound to a black-and-white silent film" Sofia Perez, The Food Writer Who Lost Her Sense of Smell, Literary Hub, November 2, 2017
Most people think taste is something they do with their tongue, but in fact we’ve found out that the tongue contributes very little: you get salt, sweet, sour, bitter, savoury (or umami), and now we know there’s metallic and maybe fatty acid. That’s all the tongue gives you. And yet, we can taste pineapple, melon, mint, strawberry, cinnamon, chicken, beef, lamb, raspberry and so on. We don’t have raspberry receptors on our tongue so we know that that’s actually coming from smell. Most of the things that we talk about as ‘fruity’ flavours or ‘meaty’ flavours — that’s all smell. Professor Barry Smith, 2019
“The boundary between the scientist and the chef is disappearing.” Professor Barry Smith, 2013
It is somehow easier to share experiences of cancer and its effects when the reason for gathering together is food – and thus social, and ‘normal’ – than if drawn together as patients, and because of one’s cancer. Val, cancer survivor, 2018
Head down and focused on the cheese sandwich John remarks between mouthfuls ‘definitely cheesy... mmmm’ … it’s lovely!’ His wife Val, standing beside him says “that’s the first time he’s ever had anything like that… isn’t it John”. John does not respond, but continues to eat until the sandwich is finished. from Altered Eating 'food play' with head and neck cancer survivors, 2016