While most hospitals today try to heal sick and wounded people at high tempo, some patients have a more extraordinary disorder, which requires more than good medicines and a little patience. At the GG z Eindhoven they provide mental care to people of all ages. Using the Plaintree-concept, which focuses on raising awareness of hospitalized clients and working on self-development. The clients here will have to work themselves out of the institution. 

 In this two-way traffic principle we wanted to get an understanding of their perception towards other clients and employees, but even more towards food. What food rituals do they know? What does eating mean for them? Since we believe food can be a medium to structure the day and make contact with. We tried to join them around the table. Creating an everyday life setting around them, where we would now be a part of, lead towards a qualitative research. Going in depth was more likely than achieving hard quantitative data. Personally getting to know the people, trying to experience what makes the borders of their surrounding, what influences them or triggers them. What we wanted to achieve was a level of empathy, to try and see the ritual and the process of eating through their eyes. After cautiously merging into this particular community and getting to know them a little more, 
we followed the routines of their well-prepared life rhythm. Slowly we started to get a better understanding of their perception towards food. Buying, processing and eating food we all do out of a primary need. Here the clients do it differently. Mostly placed together after receiving a plate of catering food, they consume without knowing. We noticed that filling their belly is not always the primary desire. Snacks, bits and bites are the perfect excuse. Apart from the routines and opening hours of the canteen, which they know by hard, food means something else to them. Clients try to gain some more social contact, have something on their hands or pass a part of the daily routine. 
Yet this is very subtle and caretakers have not been able to incorporate or encourage these desires into the happening of having a meal together as we know it. For some clients, the two workshops ,which alternate every week, are the only time they are encouraged to prepare their own meal. Set up by the caretakers in a bigger kitchen, clients are told what to do as the caretakers try to keep a conversation going. Most of them have difficulties with involving themselves into the actions and conversations as the group is made of up to 15 different clients.
The first step of making a meal precious again has been made but much remains to be done. Involving more clients within smaller groups, let them try to make and eat what they want and in the way how they used to know it. Many clients were able to tell beautiful stories about their old food ways as they used to know it. Some were almost bragging about their expertise. 
 We believe that when caretakers go into these attitudes, ideas, or other motives they can encourage the clients to process their food more themselves. As actions and workshops will develop and change with time, green houses, local supermarkets and so on can be involved into new approaches of dealing with food. The desires of the clients will be fulfilled by their own effort.