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The octogenarian cooks share their knowledge at Festival

(6 October 2017)

Dr Kingsley Purdam, School of Social Sciences, led a session earlier this week as part of the Manchester food and Drink Festival which brought together older people to demonstrate their favourite recipes including those they remember from childhood, which they still cook now.

Research has highlighted how some lower income older households are facing a ‘heating or eating’ dilemma of having to choose between spending money on food or heating their homes during the winter months.

Kingsley said: "The Octogenarian Cooks event links with ongoing research into food insecurity in older age which has included interviewing older people using food banks. Welfare reform in the UK has led to reductions in public spending on support services for older people. 1.6 million pensioners live below the poverty line. Nearly one million older people have unmet social care needs. Under-nutrition is a major cause of functional decline. It can lead to poorer health outcomes, delays in recovery from illness and longer periods in hospital."

The Octogenarian Cooks project, supported by the Social Responsibility team, involves researchers and dieticians from the University, Cracking Good Food, Fareshare Greater Manchester, the chef Maz Linford, along with older people from across Manchester. It encourages people to share their ideas and recognise that food is more than just nutrition; it is an important part of people’s identities and family life. As nearly four million older people live alone, it also provides advice on how to maintain an interest in cooking, and storing food.

Kinglsey was interviewed by BBC Radio Manchester about the project, and you can hear the interview on the BBC website, from 2 hours 51 minutes into the recording.