FIGHTING SICKNESS WITH FOOD
ABOUT THE DESIGNER 1
SOPHIA BAKER I am interested in human centered design, problem solving, and caring for todayâ€™s world. I found my love of food at a young age, cooking with my grandma at Sunday dinners. In December of 2012, my relationship with food changed drastically when I discovered that I was allergic to soy. I could no longer eat the prepackaged staples I once relied on to get through my busy schedule. Along with soy, I also decided to cut out dairy and gluten due to family history. Creating a new diet for myself required weeks of research on nutrition and recipes, but within a few months I had completely changed my food routine, and consequently my life.
After a semester of my new lifestyle I spent my summer among friends, family, and peers where it became painstakingly clear that the people around me were getting sick. I began to wonder...
Why did they get sick?
Who is taking care of them?
Do they know it might have been avoided with proper nutrition? How can I help? 2
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
Human centered research
HOW DID THIS BECOME MY CAPSTONE? “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food” -Hippocrates
It’s no secret that good nutrition makes you a healthier human being. Even before 300 BC, Hippocrates knew this. In spring of 2013, I changed my diet and found a new way to take care of myself. My clothes began to fit better, my skin glowed, and I wasn’t getting sick once a month anymore. I realized that my experience could become more than just something I did with my spare time, especially with todays modern mentality of food just being calories to fuel your body. When my friends and family became sick this year, I knew that I could help them get better. By providing nutritious food as well as the traditional comforts, I was able to help them recover faster. I want to help our University’s students be healthier and recover faster from sickness. 4
UARTS STUDENTS While I know it would be too much to take on, I wish I could help the world with itâ€™s vast nutritional issues. However, in order to make a more manageable and meaningful project, I decided to focus on a society that has been overlooked in many fields; the college student. 5
BUT THEY’RE YOUNG AND HEALTHY, RIGHT?
Stress Students of college age are generally healthy. That is because we are “in our prime” and can fight off most viruses and infections. However, this is almost exclusively determined by how well the student takes care of the body they live in. In my observations I have noted several factors that prohibit the average college student from taking care of themselves properly.
Close quarters/studio life
Lack of sleep
Lack of nutrition 6
STUDENTS I interviewed four Uarts students, labeled a-d, anonymously as they visited health services, either for themselves or going with a friend for support. All were freshman living in the dorms and off campus. 7
Interviews with Students
How may times have you been sick this year? student a: 5-10
student b: 0 student c: 1
student d: 2
A trend I’ve been noticing is that students will ignore their sickness and go to class anyway. What makes you stop and take a break? a: throwing up
b: if I’m really out of it
c: how tired I feel
d: throwing up
Do you have someone who takes care of you when you are sick? a: not here
b: my mom, she’s close
d: not here
What do you eat when you’re sick? a: lots of liquids and protein
c: anything healthy
d: cans of soup
SUZANNE SCOTT Director of Health Services for the University of the Arts. 9
Interview with Suzanne Scott
The students I’ve talked to have said they mainly take care of themselves, do you see this happening in a proper way? “They think they’re taking care of themselves, but they’re not” Another trend I’ve been noticing is that students will ignore their sickness and go to class anyway. What would be the ideal response to getting sick as a student? “In an ideal world you’d stay home, sleep, and drink fluids whenever you feel sick.” How long should you cope with a sickness before seeing a doctor? “Give it 72 hours. If it hasn’t gotten better, see a doctor” What do you think would help students get better nutrition? “Extend business hours. Students need to be able to get a healthy meal at 11:30 pm” 10
THE UNIVERSITY The University of the Arts prides itself on a diverse population, but with our diverse culture comes diverse sickness that not everyone is immune to. 11
A H E A LT H Y S T U D E N T BODY IS A PRODUCTIVE P O P U L AT I O N , W H I C H ALLOWS THE EXPRESSION OF MAXIMUM POTENTIAL AND GROWTH.
Being 100% healthy is a miraculous achievement in todays modern world because everywhere we turn there is one thing or another hurting our ability to live a healthy life. When the main factor in a persons health is nutrition and the modern diet consists of processed foods and sugars, the bodyâ€™s immune system collapses. Reforming the diet is the best way to boost your immune system and the best way to become healthier. Having a stronger immune system means less sickness, and therefor less sick days need to be taken. This allows for more productivity. 12
“I don’t know what I would do if I became really sick” - anonymous If students believe that they are taking care of themselves when they actually are not, how will they get better?
W H AT A R E O U R C U R R E N T OPTIONS?
Go see the Uarts nurse Our current options rely on a system of self care. However if a student does not know how to properly take care of themselves, they will have a hard time recovering in a timely manner. They might even suffer more than they need to. If a student is sick they should be getting the proper amount of fluids and rest, as well as the right nutrients needed to make their immune system stronger. This can not be accomplished with a can of soup.
Email teachers and stay in bed Walk to the nearest pharmacy for medicine and a can of soup Call your doctor to make an appointment 14
W H AT O T H E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N S I N T H E A R E A TA K E C A R E O F PEOPLE WITH FOOD?
Meals on Wheels â€œOur Vision is to end senior hunger, Our Mission is to provide national leadership to end senior hunger.â€? - http://www.mowaa.org
Key Points Age requirement Frozen meals Cardboard packaging Works through Philabundance in Philadelphia
Philabundance “Philabundance was created in 1984 with the simple belief that no man, woman or child should go hungry. Our growth and eventual integration with the Philadelphia Food Bank in 2005 has made us the region’s largest hunger relief organization. We are now able to address hunger through direct service programs and a network of 500 member agencies, as well as contribute to a broad spectrum of social services through food cupboards, emergency kitchens, shelters, daycare and senior centers and beyond.” - http://www.philabundance.org
Key Points Community based Weekly events Several systems Many systems do not deliver
Hospitals Service the people who are admitted to the hospital. Three meals a day are provided. Meals are structured around the illness and food limitations.
“Good nutrition is key to good health, and it’s an important part of your treatment. Your physician may order either a regular diet or a special diet suited to your needs or medical condition”
Key Points Requires admission to a ward Variety is offered Relies heavily on diagnosis Meals tailored to: Illness Diet Allergies Lifestyle
Manna “Nourishing, healthy, healing food. That’s what the “MANNA Miracle” is all about – delivering nourishment to those battling life threatening illnesses.” - mannapa.org
Key Points Deliveries are made once a week Dietary needs are key Manna meals are NOT: Vegetarian Vegan Gluten free Nut free Kosher Macrobiotic 20
MRE â€œMRE stands for Meal, Ready-to-Eat and is currently the main individual operational ration for the U.S. military. MREs are meant to be completely self-contained meals that provide all the nutrition a solider-on-the-go needs to sustain him/herself. Typical contents include entree, side dish, crackers, peanut butter/ cheese spread, dessert, instant coffee/tea, matches, toilet paper, spoon, and a heater to heat the main entree. While everything in an MRE can be eaten cold, it usually tastes better warm.â€? -http://www.mreinfo.com/
Key Points Overcoming limitations Travel ready Full nutrition Self heating Not allergy friendly Plastic packaging
GrubHub Free online ordering services the public by providing food orders for a variety of restaurants.
Key Points Limited to the delivery area Inconsistant nutrient value Choices are rarely healthy
T H E S Y S T E M S T H AT A R E S U C C E S S F U L T O D AY ARE WORKING TOWARDS NOURISHMENT OF A S P E C I F I C P O P U L AT I O N . I WOULD LIKE TO BRING T H E C O M PA S S I O N BASED FOOD DELIVERY SYSTEM MODEL TO OUR STUDENTS.
nutrition comfort health
managing sickness seasonal sickness lifestyle choices
over the counter medication
LITERARY RESOURCES Prescription for Nutritional Healing By: Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.
An A to Z guide of supplements. Includes a basic nutritional guide to prevent illness as well as a chart of herbs and their uses. Gives detailed information about vitamins and minerals; how they work, what they should be taken with, as well as a chemical break down of our bodies. I am using this book almost exclusively as a resource. This is because the break down of information is simple and can be conformed to any dietary needs. It is not biased to a certain type of diet, which is the main concern of mine moving forward into the nutrition aspect of this project. Since the biological make up of our bodies are so different, we will respond differently to various diets. My goal is to strip away these limitations and focus solely on the nutritional needs of humans.
LITERARY RESOURCES Self Management and the Health Care Consumer By: Peter William Harvey
“An attempt to apply the self-management principles used in current health care approaches to preventative lifestyle strategies that can help people avoid the onset of disease in the first place. The real tasks, in addition to assisting those with chronic illness, is to empower people to live lives that free them from dependence on systems that cost us all too much.” “The way we live today; our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and excessive consumption of modern foods, for example, is making us sick at an unprecedented rate and this aggregation of sickness is not only limiting the potentiating of individuals to enjoy their life over a natural lifespan relatively free of disability and illness, but is impacting adversely upon the entire social and economic fabric of modern society.” The main draw in this reading was the implication of self care. In the world we live in today, we are able to acquire almost anything with the push of a button. While this convinience allows for more free time and “easier” lives, the choices we make with these convieniences have been detremental to our health. This reading informed need for health food convienience and the design of my infographics to accompany my service. (pg 43)
LITERARY RESOURCES What Food Allergies are Costing Families, and the Economy By: Alexandra Sifferlin
Four to six percent of children under the age of eighteen have food allergies, and the numbers are on the rise. Some allergies can be grown out of, but others can form in their wake, and it is unknown and often not safe to test the boundaries of the allergens. Some specialists believe that with modern medicine and the “kill all” stance on bacteria, that allergies are a cause of immune deficiency. Parents can spend up to a thousand dollars a month on protecting their child, and that is before groceries. If the cost of time is factored in, such as time parents take off from work to care for the child, it is even more. Lost career opportunities cost an estimated 14.2 billion. Access to epinephrine and development of “cures” are being improved upon. This reading solidified my personal goal to make my service allergy friendly. By making foods without the main allergens (soy, dairy, gluten, fish, nuts, peanuts, eggs, shellfish) my service allows for a wider demographic to be reached.
LITERARY RESOURCES TED Talks: Defying Disease (episode 1, William Li)
Can we eat to starve cancer? A look at what foods can “starve” disease by restricting angiogenesis, or the growth of new capillaries, which have proven to feed cancerous growths, and fatty deposits that lead to obesity. Preliminary research and studies have shown that it is possible to concoct a formula with food to restrict angiogenesis and allow a patient to go into remission. This TED talk goes beyond the traditional “food as medicine” stance because it has been shown that certain foods can cause cancer cells to stop growing. It proves that food is a powerful source of medicine for even the most serious diseases we face today.
TED Talks: Chew on This (all episodes)
A series of talks surrounding food. Topics include the future of our food, school lunches and how they will shape the future, obesity, nutritional balance, and overall health. These Ted Talks cover various ways of eating to improve health. From eating meat only on weekends, to ways of making our food sources more sustainable. The talks informed my research by solidifying the fact that food is a powerful resource that should never be taken for granted. Learning what others have done to make their food sources more sustainable has steered my system towards sourcing local, organic, and sustainable foods.
With all of the information that is out there and the systems already in place, why are we still struggling to have a healthy student body? How can we improve studentsâ€™ nutrition while making it more than just the typical bland health food?
Personalized Meal Plan
Making each dish to the specific needs of students insures that there will not be any conflict in its consumption.
â€œGrubHubâ€? For the Sick
System/service that gathers the conditions of a student. System then suggests meals that will make them feel better. Once the meal is chosen, it is delivered to the sick.
Using a smart device, identify foods. Nutritional information will be listed along with the benefits of the food and pairings that will help nutrient absorption.
Meals on the go How to prep for the week (or two) Allergen free cooking Easy soups Gluten free cooking Paleo Cooking Vegan Cooking 35
Set up a series of cooking classes to cater to the Uarts students. Events will be based on overcoming the obstacles students face.
Create a series of taste tests to introduce healthy foods to students. Include nutritional information and recipes for further learning.
Make Healthy Options Available 24/7
The present food options available at 2 am are pizza and cookies. If healthy options were available when students are working late at night, they could choose the foods that fuel them better. 36
A COMBINED APPROACH 37
In order to get the most out of the system I design for my capstone, I decided to combine three of my concepts. I feel strongly that personalized meals will benefit the student body because we are so diverse in our biological make up, and utilizing a delivery system to sick individuals will make nutrition more accessible when it is needed most. Taste tests will be an influence on the menu and inform what the studentsâ€™ tastes are.
Sent to Jefferson History and Medical Needs Sick Student
When a student gets sick, they have limited options. I wish to utilize the Universityâ€™s Health Services to make better use of the health system currently in place. According to Suzanne, only 10% of the student body uses Health Services.
The nurse can properly asses the student and determine whether or not they need to be sent to Jefferson. If the student is not referred to Jefferson, the nurse can inform the student about my system and offer the service.
Once a students needs are gathered menu items are selected and sent to the food provider.
Deliver to Dorm
Student Feels Better
Once a studentâ€™s needs are gathered, a proper meal can be made. I wish to use the meal plan in the beginning stages to provide the food. This meal can then be free with the nurses referral. The Terra dining hall already has the facilities to make this possible.
Delivering to the dorms should be relatively simple and rapid because they are so central to the university. Because Uarts employees are delivering the food, they will be able to take the meal into the dorm and to the students door.
When the student goes home after visiting the nurse, they can relax and know where their nourishment is coming from. The relaxation and nutritious food will help the student recover faster and get back on their feet. 38
TWO OUNCE SAMPLES
CROCK OF CARROT GINGER SOUP
I set up my taste test in the Terra lobby and offered free samples to everyone who entered. A few declined but many took samples, and the most informative part was when students and teachers stopped to talk about the concept behind it all. Some even offered suggestions. After explaining my goals, I asked them to fill out a quick comment card, rating the taste, saltiness, and any thoughts they wanted to add. The soup rated between a seven and a ten, and the saltiness rated between a one and a five. Overall, I see the test as a huge success and I learned that students are willing to accept the food that I offer. 39
TA S T E T E S T T E S T I M O N I A L S “Good and warm, perfect for a gross cold day!” “Yummy, make me more!” “I love the smooth texture” “Tasty and healthy, I would eat lots of it!” “So soothing! Not too sweet or salty, very natural!” “I NEED the recipe to this soup!” “Very good for a vegan item! Love!” “It’s soooo good. Goes down nice and smooth, I love it!” “Yum Yum! Usually I don’t like ginger, but this is great!” “Very tasty. Glad it’s so healthy!” 40
Carrot Ginger Soup Unbelievably creamy texture with no animal ingredients! This vegan soup is all natural! Nine of the freshest ingredients go into this warm and inviting soup.
Bean and Vegetable Soup A fiery blend of spices gives this soup a sinus clearing kick. Great for colds and upper respiratory sickness, this soup is sure to get you breathing right again.
Chicken Noodle Soup Light and comforting, this soup will make you think grandma is in your kitchen and taking care of you. Homemade broth and pasta ensure the very best taste.
R I C E & V E G E TA B L E S T I R F R Y Let this Buddha Bowl fill your belly! Brown rice and your choice of three vegetables nourish your body. Spice things up for an extra sinus clearing kick! Carrots
Red Bell Pepper
Great for your lungs and skin! Packed with vitamins A&C, this juice with give you a healthy glow
This ultra hydrating side will bring you back to life. With the refreshing taste of cucumber and sweet basil, cucumber salad will rejuvenate your body
you all the nutrients it craves, all in one simple
added applesauce will give you that sweet tooth
satisfaction without sending your blood sugar over
system, this fizzy drink will enegergize you and
For those in need of a digestive break, this broth
Packed with all things green, this drink will give
A vitamin C boost to kick start your immune bring you back to life. 41
A sweet favorite, this all natural, no sugar
will soothe your throat and stomach.
Using descriptive language, I wish to make the food sound delicious and nutritious. By stating what the food can do for the consumer, the person in need can make the best choices for themselves. Students choose one item from each category for a complete day of meals. I gave three choices for each section in the menu because itâ€™s three days worth of meal variation. If a student needs more than three days of this service, they should seek out medical attention.
CARROT GINGER SOUP
Vitamin A, C, K Vitamin B1, B2, B3 Calcium Choline Iron Manganese Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Selenium
Vitamin A, C, D, E, K Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 Calcium Copper Choline Folate Iron Manganese Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Zinc
Vitamin A, C, K Vitamin B1, B2, B3 Calcium Iron Manganese Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Selenium
A crucial ingredient in soups, water should be pure of all containments.
Vitamin C, E, K Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 Calcium Iron Manganese Magnesium Omega 3 fatty acids Omega 6 fatty acids Phosphorus Potassium Selenium Sulfur
OLIVE OIL Vitamin E, K Iron Omega 9 Anti-inflammatory Heart Healthy Lowers blood pressure Slows growth of unwanted bacteria
Anti-inflammatory Relieves nausea
Sodium Helps retain water Stimulates muscles Creates digestive enzymes
Antioxidant Essential oils to soothe ailments Fight bacteria Stimulates digestion
Heart Health Strong Bones Stable Metabolism Better Digestion Glowing Skin
Lowered Blood Pressure
Increased Brain Function
N U T R I T I O N I N F O R M AT I O N
Along with the food I provide, I wish to include an infographic to inform the consumer of the nutrients and benefits they are receiving by eating the meal. Acting as an additional supplement, my goal is to have the food make the consumer feel better and appreciate the power of good nutrition. I hope this will compel the consumer to learn more and find the nutrition information just as nourishing as the food itself.
T E S T: G i v i n g a d a y o f m e a l s to Joseph
Joseph is a Uarts senior who was ill. I decided to test the concept of nutritious food delivery with him and record his responses. “In the morning I was having trouble getting out of bed. I was groggy, had a bit of a headache, and my stomach was sensitive. When I am sick, I usually refrain from eating because I have a strange appetite when my stomach is upset.
I received the bag meals in the morning and was thrilled. I didn’t have to take time to make it, or go out to the dining hall. The meals consisted of: a cucumber salad, vegetable soup, rice and vegetables, and a strange drink. Everything was extremely good and I had no trouble eating it at all, despite my stomach. The cucumber salad was fresh and cold; which calmed my stomach and made for a good snack. After the snack, my appetite began to come back so I heated up the vegetable soup. At first I thought the soup was a bit bland, so I added a touch of salt to match my specific taste. The vegetables were very fresh and the broth was simple and easy to digest and keep down, despite the slight nausea from being sick. After the soup, I was full and soon took a nap that helped my headache go away completely. The rice and vegetables were good too; the rice had a certain oily taste to it and was not dry at all. I wasn’t expecting myself to like this dish as much as I did. The vegetables, which were with the rice, were sweet and matched the rice quite well. As for the drink, I was not sure if I liked it or not. There were so many complex tastes in it. I really enjoyed the aftertaste though, once I got past the INTENSE rush of a million flavors. I guess this is just something to get use to, because it wasn’t bad, just really different. All in all, I think eating healthy meals all day contributed to my well-being. It may be just the fresh ingredients, which really made my stomach accept food. The simple palate helped too. I would definitely invest in such a venture as this!” 46
I T S H O U L D B E A S TA N D A R D IN OUR UNIVERSITY SYSTEM TO PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH THE MEANS TO NOURISH T H E M S E LV E S T O T H E B E S T O F T H E I R A B I L I T Y. B Y S U P P LY I N G N U T R I T I O U S FOOD TO STUDENTS WHEN THEY ARE SICK, THEY ARE ABLE TO RECOVER FA S T E R .
NEXT STEPS Recipes
What ingredients will I use? What wonâ€™t I use?
Supplies How will I get the food? Physically and financially.
Cooking Where will I cook the food? Will I have to expand outside of my own kitchen?
Packaging What materials will I use? How will I transport liquids without the use of plastics?
Delivery How is the food delivered? Who delivers it?
Branding What is the name of my business? Come up with a logo, color and text scheme.
Business Plan How do I make this a sustainable business?
University Involvement Present to the University. Will they accept my proposal? 48
TIME LINE Week 1
Finalize recipes for menu. Source supplies. Coordinate taste tests.
Week 2 Cook for two taste tests and execute. Coordinate another week of taste tests.
Week 3 Cook for two taste tests and execute. Record all data collected from tests.
Week 4 Test materials for packaging
Week 5 Design packaging
Week 6 Design branding
Spring Break Week 8 Finalize system and delivery
Week 9 Form Business plan
Week 10 Package product/service/system for University proposal
Week 11 FINALIZE 50
SOURCES Literary Sources Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York, Penguin. 2010. Harvey, Peter William. Self Management and the Health Care Consumer. New York, Nova Science Publishers, INC. 2011. Sifferlin, Alexandra. What Food Allergies are Costing Families, and the Economy. New York, TIME. 2013. Online Sources MRE Info. MRE Info, web. December 2013. Netflix. TED Talks, online video. Summer 2013. Jefferson Hospital. Jefferson University Hospital, web. December 2013. Philabundance. Philabundance, web. November 2103. MANNA. MANNA, web. October 2013. Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels Association of America, web. November 2013. Consultants Suzanne Scott, Director of Health Services Dâ€™Arcy Webb, Nutrition Consult