How can colour blindness affect cooking food?
A meat thermometer is a vital tool for people with colour blindness as they can’t see the colour of meat so need to use it to know when meat is fully cooked.
Colour vison deficiency effects one in 12 men and one in 100 women on the island of Ireland. That’s over 670,000 people.
Colour blindness can make it difficult to know if a food is ripe or fully cooked. It can make some foods look unappetising or less appealing as colour affects a person’s perception of food. Would you eat green looking peanut butter?
Colour vision deficiencies can also make navigating food labelling and the supermarket environment, which relies heavily on packaging and colour coding, problematic.
To get a sense of the real impact of colour blindness on perceptions of food, buying and preparing food and cooking, we chatted to Belfast chef and ‘BBC Farm To Feast’ contestant Alex Huston.
Q. How does being colour blind affect your cooking?
A. My colour blindness means when I am cooking dishes with chicken, turkey, pork, mince or barbecue meats I need to use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is fully cooked and is safe for everyone to eat. Other than that, it doesn’t affect me too much.
Q. What is your most important tool?
A. The meat thermometer. I am really colour blind so I can’t tell if meat is pink the way that most people can. So it is very important that I probe the meat to make sure it’s cooked to the correct temperature and is safe.
Q. How else can colour blindness affect you?
A. There are things about being colour blind that people don’t take into account. If something is labelled with a particular colour to provide important food safety information I can’t see it they way everyone else can. Things like colour coding, allergen information and traffic light system.
And in shops, if special offers are highlighted by colour label beside them or a sticker on them, and not all items are on offer, I can’t differentiate between them.