Five Senses

The Lempert Report
April 28, 2022

Phil: So Bee Wilson wrote a fascinating story, how we lost our sensory connection with food and how to restore it in The Guardian. And one of, one of the things that she writes that I think is very important for us all to pay attention to is one of the most striking things she says about eating in the modern world is that we do so much as if it were sense blind. We switch off our senses when choosing what we eat, our noses can distinguish fresh milk from sour milk, but we prefer to look at the used by date rather than sniffing. So I guess the question, and we've, we've spoken a lot about how, you know, long COVID and, and COVID really reacts to the sense of smell about what she points out. It's not just about COVID certainly, you know, for some people that's a problem, but for most of us we've really relegated our sense of smell to our sense of sight. 

Sally: Yes. It seems that we, you know, we're, we're not interacting with our food the same way when you think about it. And, you know, we're, we're buying, we're going to the produce department, we're buying, uh, products that are pre sliced, prepackaged wrapped in plastic. So we're not touching the fruit for ripeness and smelling the fruit to see how, you know, if it's what we wanna buy. So there is a different, there is a different interaction with our food. And I think also, you know, buying things based on what we read on packages and buying processed foods, as opposed to more fresh foods and cooking, there's something lost there. 

Phil:  Yeah, there is. And also what, what she points out is now on Facebook, there's a Facebook group for long COVID sufferers who talk about joy gets sucked out of food for those who can't smell. They lost their appetite while others had the opposite reaction, desperately eating more in attempt to compensate for the loss of pleasure. She goes on and on again, great article in the, in the guardian, highly recommend it. There's one point that I wanna make that's happened in England where, what they've, what they've done is they've actually added a course for, for young kids, to really talk about the sensory aspect of food and what they find is the kids that go through their course. It's part of the national food strategy, Henry Dimbly in 2021 called for sensory food education to be a basic part of every young child's education for nursery and reception classes. And what they found is a study from Finland, education of preschool children increased their willingness to eat a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and berries. And again, what be points out is try to know your food with your ears, nose, and hands, as well as with your eyes, smell it, touch it, look at it before you taste it. Great, great advice. Absolutely. Great advice.