An Australian survey has revealed that one third of colour blind people experience problems with foodstuffs in both buying and preparation, particularly those with a red-green deficiency because they ‘see’ very little difference between most colours.
Although colour blind people do develop strategies to help them cope, shopping for fruit and vegetables can be a real problem. Colour blind people learn that ripe apples are darker than unripe apples and that generally ripe fruit feels softer than unripe fruit.
See the light-hearted article from the National Press by Geoffrey Hope-Terry, where the author describes a trip to his local supermarket.
Green potatoes can’t be easily spotted either and this can be dangerous as the green patches contain a high concentration of a poisonous solution, solanine, which is particularly dangerous in pregnancy.
The meat in the above photograph does not look very appetising to someone who is red/green colour blind.
Fresh meat is difficult to distinguish from older meat and as mentioned in the examples at the beginning of this section, it is very hard for the colour blind to tell whether meat is properly cooked through (see Colorblindworld at www.neitzvision.com), which is not a problem if you want a rare steak but could be a big problem if you have undercooked a fillet of chicken.