According to a survey by the Health Promotion Board in 2010, 60% of Singaporeans ate out at least 4 times a week. Eating out is a convenient and cheap option in this country, but this lifestyle makes a balanced nutritional intake a challenge.
It’s doubly challenging when you have a visual impairment. Most kitchen activities are more difficult if you’re blind or visually impaired: handling knives, measuring ingredients, use of the stovetop and the oven. No surprise then, when we asked our blind friends whether they cooked at home or not, most of them said they didn’t.
We joined a cooking workshop organised by local social enterprise Fortitude Culina to find out how blind people could cook at home.
Besides tips on how to organise the worktop and techniques for handling food and utensils, we saw some special equipment that would be great for any visually impaired person in the kitchen:
1) Talking induction cooker
This stove reads its settings out loud as you set the temperature. It has safety features such as turning off after a preset period, and a magnetised base for stainless steel pans and pots. The hob also turns off immediately when a pan is removed.
2) Cut-resistant safety gloves
Save your finger tips (and your supply of first-aid plasters) with these special safety gloves.
3) Talking thermometer, kitchen scales
Thermometers and kitchen scales that says their readings to you.
4) Liquid level indicator
An electronic device that hangs over the edge of your glass or bowl. Now you don’t have to burn your fingers or embarrass yourself overfilling cups when entertaining guests.
5) Pot minder
A classic but ingenuous design, this ceramic disc rattles in your pot when your water, milk or hot chocolate comes to a boil.
6) Braille/tactile vessels and utensils
Measuring cups and spoons are available with braille or tactile markings.
Do you want to attend cooking classes like this? You should check out the other cooking workshops by Fortitude Culina.
Founder of Fortitude Culina, Aaron Yeoh, also has bigger plans. “We aim to create a smart training kitchen for the visually impaired by 2019 to support their independent living needs,” said Aaron. “If you wish to support or partner with Fortitude Culina in this journey, please contact me.”